A white background with the words 'The Lilac Review' in the centre. The words are surrounded by various shapes in shades of blue and purple.

What will the Lilac Review do?

The Lilac Review will undertake extensive research into the challenges and opportunities faced by disabled-led businesses.

The Lilac Review will deliver the following in its first two years:

  1. Undertake research with a wide variety of stakeholders – including disabled entrepreneurs and the wider business community - to understand the challenges and opportunities in-depth, as well as shape an action plan to drive change
  2. Lead a rallying call for meaningful action – across businesses large and small, business organisations, charities, and the public sector to commit to meaningful change, particularly where change is needed within the business support landscape
  3. Develop and share best-practice materials – including a toolkit for all organisations engaging with entrepreneurs, to ensure support is as accessible and inclusive as possible

Who is involved in the Lilac Review?

The Lilac Review is being spearheaded by Small Business Britain, with support from the UK Government.

Jointly chaired by Victoria Jenkins, Founder and CEO, Unhidden, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, and Mims Davies MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, the Lilac Review will be governed by a Steering Board including disabled founders, as well as representatives from the wider business community and UK Government.

Why is the Lilac Review needed?

Estimates suggests that improving opportunity for disabled founders could unlock an additional £230 billion for the UK economy . Disabled entrepreneurs currently account for approximately 25% of the nation’s 5.5 million small businesses.

The need for the Lilac Review was highlighted by the ‘Disability and Entrepreneurship report’, launched by Small Business Britain in March 2023 in partnership with Lloyds Bank.

Consulting over 500 disabled founders across the UK - in one of the largest studies of its kind – the report found disabled entrepreneurs face significant barriers to start and grow businesses, such as higher start-up costs, challenges accessing funding and support, as well as a lack of credit by wider society.

For example over half of disabled founders said they had no external support when starting up, 72 per cent lacked appropriate role models to guide them and 55 per cent received no financial support.

Earlier research from Access to Funding also shows that 84 per cent of disabled founders don’t feel they have equal access to the same opportunities and resources as non-disabled founders , and face an additional £570 per month on average in costs due to the ‘disability price tag’ before business costs.

The Disability and Entrepreneurship report also showed that many disabled-founders over-index on the skills needed due to their lived experience, such as agility, creativity, resilience and problem-solving, with 35% say their disability has positively impacted them as an entrepreneur.

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