Birketts, a UK top 50 law firm, has advised on the registration of the African Diaspora Economic Inclusion Foundation (ADEIF) as a charity in England and Wales.
ADEIF, registered as a charity on 29 November 2022, was founded by speaker, educator and bestselling author, Shereen Daniels, who is Managing Director of anti-racism and racial equity advisory firm HR Rewired and former Vice Chair of the Black Business Association with the London Chamber of Commerce.
The ground-breaking new charity has been established specifically to address issues of economic inequality for members of the African Diaspora, in particular Black female entrepreneurs. The charity will work to support the African Diaspora professional and entrepreneur community to gain equal economic opportunities within the UK.
The charity’s beneficiaries will receive, in some cases for the first time, much needed guidance, education and financial support to address issues of economic inequality affecting the African Diaspora, helping to put them on a level playing field in the business community. Lack of access to finance, funding and network are consistent challenges affecting women business owners. These issues are exacerbated for Black women who face exclusion because of both gender and race. The charity will bring greater access to opportunity which, in turn, will help the economy to become one that is not subject to internal or hidden discrimination. Additionally, by raising awareness of the issues of economic inequality facing the African Diaspora, the charity will help drive sustainable economic solutions for the benefit of the public.
The novel and innovative nature of the proposed activities, in particular the proposal to provide grant funding to Black female entrepreneurs, meant that the application to the Charity Commission was lengthy and detailed. Over a nine-month period the Birketts Team satisfied the Charity Commission of the public benefit involved and successfully achieved charitable status for ADEIF.
The Birketts team was led by Liz Brownsell, Partner and Head of Charities, and was supported by Amy Bradburne (Solicitor) and Florence Paul (Trainee).
Liz Brownsell, Partner and Head of Charities at Birketts, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have seen Shereen’s vision come to life and to have advised her from start to finish. Shereen is an inspiring Philanthropist, doing important work to address very real issues impacting members of the African Diaspora business community, and we are very supportive of her goals, objectives and mission. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact that ADEIF will have, and am delighted to have had a role in its establishment.”
Shereen Daniels, Chair of ADEIF, said:
“Addressing the uneven playing as it relates to entrepreneurs of African heritage within the UK is vital if we are to realise the economic opportunities that come with ensuring equal access to venture capital funding and/or debt finance. The Board of Trustees and l are deliberately homing in on supporting Black female entrepreneurs, as despite the public commitments to address funding inequities, we have yet to see any tangible progress. In fact, one could say many African Diasporic businesses are over mentored and underfunded and we want to play a small part in changing that.
“Helping viable business achieve their ambitions through small grants and educational support, demonstrates our tangible commitment to helping female entrepreneurs build thriving businesses.”