Aarti Parmar, founder of AP Brand Communications, helps businesses tell their story through brand … [+]
Human beings are story tellers by nature. It is how we articulate who we are; it is how we remember the things we deem important; it is how we teach those that go ahead of us. We tell stories in school in history, in English, in geography and more; we tell stories on social media; and we tell stories with statues, with mobile videos and with the things we choose to celebrate or denigrate.
This story-telling nature has always been part of being human, and it can work for us and against us. We are reliant on those stories to educate ourselves on the past and to shape how we want to build the future. They are incredibly important for our children, but they are also important today as they can shape policy and progress. What is a newspaper or news broadcast but methods and channels for sharing stories?
It has always been important to tell our stories, but perhaps even more important now than ever as the realisation of the inequality in story-telling gains volume and itself becomes part of the story.
At Small Business Britain, we campaign to champion Britain’s small businesses, of all sizes, in all locations, in all sectors and indeed from all backgrounds. It is critically important that these stories reflect all experiences of being an entrepreneur.
This is why we have launched i:Entrepreneur, a campaign to shine a light on business leaders from BAME and other ethnic minority backgrounds. This starts, of course, with storytelling.
We will start with a programme of listening and learning, asking the questions of those that have experienced being a BAME entrepreneur in the UK that can help other entrepreneurs overcome challenges, gain in impact and visibility, and inspire more BAME individuals to start on the entrepreneurial journey.
Business leaders like Aarti Parmar, founder of AP Brand Communications, will help us understand how we can inspire others to start their own venture, but also to grow that success through collaboration, networks, storytelling and support. Aarti educates and empowers entrepreneurs through her business, but also through her work supporting charities and as a mentor for the BelEVE charity, equipping girls and young women with the skills and confidence to find their voice and make informed choices about their future. Education and empowerment will, I believe, be strong themes for all of us in the years to come.
We have many questions we want to find an answer for: why do we not see more BAME business leaders in mainstream press, at events, speaking on panels and on our news? What can we do to change that situation? How do we get everyone involved?
The important thing is to start the conversation and make sure the stories are being told. We don’t know where this will end up or what the answer is, but we are keen to listen and learn and use the tools at our disposal to make a difference where we can.
Because the stories we tell now will resonate through time. We do not want people in the future to look back on our stories and say, ah, well, it was a different time then, as if that excuses a selective blindness to stories that do not fit within our own experience. We want future generations to look back and say they were proud to see a sea-change in visibility of diverse stories, and that changed the way we view education, opportunity, access to support and advice, and ultimately opportunity for success.
Do you have a story to tell? Can we help you tell it?