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Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Morgan, with the black female entrepreneurs

Black History Month: celebrating female entrepreneurship

by Laura Johnston

A special event focusing on female black entrepreneurship has taken place as part of Knowsley’s programme celebrating Black History Month (BHM).

“Saluting Our Sisters” is this year’s BHM theme and Knowsley Council’s Black and Minority Workers’ Group teamed up with the Council’s Invest Knowsley Business Growth team and the Liverpool City Region Business and Intellectual Property Centre to host a Black Women’s Entrepreneurship seminar.

The Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, welcomed everyone to the event in Huyton Library. During his opening comments he highlighted the council’s role in encouraging and facilitating black entrepreneurship – during October and all year round. He said:

“As everyone will be aware, this event is held as part of our programme to celebrate Black History Month during October.

 

“But it’s not just in October that we want to encourage our black businesses.  This is part of a wider engagement plan.  In June this year, we held an “Opportunities for Black Entrepreneurship in Knowsley” event at the Villages Hotel to showcase how Knowsley Council can support all black businesses.

 

“We are committed to supporting everyone who lives, works, and socialises in Knowsley in making sure that Knowsley is an equal, diverse, and inclusive borough.”

People at the event heard from two Knowsley-based Black women entrepreneurs; Chantelle Lunt founder and Director of the Little Green Juice Box and Vanessa Boateng founder and Co-director of Creations by Viva. The women talked about their experiences of being a female Black entrepreneur in Knowsley and the support they’ve received from the Invest Knowsley Business Growth Team and Knowsley Chamber of Commerce

There was a marketplace for local Black businesses giving those at the event the opportunity to meet and chat with established, successful Black entrepreneurs – inspiring people to take the next step with their business idea.

Joolz from Joolzery Handcrafted Jewellery
Letitia from Rae Shea Organic Handmade Skincare
Michelle from Akoma Arts

Those in attendance also heard from five inspiring female entrepreneurs at various stages in their journeys and from a range of industries through a live stream from the British Library.

The livestream was available courtesy of Knowsley Library Service’s membership of the Liverpool City Region’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre Network.

Chantelle Lunt founder and Director of the Little Green Juice Box speaking at the Knowsley event

The Little Green Juice Box Is a family business creating delicious juices and smoothies using locally sourced ingredients from a bespoke mobile juice and smoothie bar. LGJB supply juices to universities, theatres, cafés and corporate clients for events, marketing and resale and more and is also available to hire for parties and events. LGJB successfully secured financial support from the Council’s Invest Knowsley Business Growth team enabling the business to access expert advice and guidance on business expansion planning.

Vanessa Boateng founder and Co-director of Creations by Viva speaking at the Knowsley event

Creations By Viva Limited
Creations By Viva is a Knowsley based eco-friendly organic skin care brand. Based on ancient traditional African ingredients, founder and managing director Vanessa Boateng launched the organic skin care and cosmetics brand in 2020 and with support from the Council’s Invest Knowsley Business Growth Team successfully secured financial investment to expand the business.

Disclaimer: this article celebrates black entrepreneurs in the borough but is not an endorsement of individual businesses.

Main photo (L-R) Vanessa Boateng,  Co-director of Creations by Viva; Chantelle Lunt Director of the Little Green Juice Box, Cllr Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, Jacqui McGee, Member of the council’s Black and Minority Workers’ Group .