Supporting underrepresented next-gen Bristol entrepreneurs

Bristol has been one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, and ranked fourth in our Good Growth for Cities report in 2022. It performs particularly well in the tech and creative sectors, and is home to a significant entrepreneur community. But its success isn’t accessible to all of its residents. To help change this, our Bristol colleagues partnered with Babbasa, a community-led youth empowerment social enterprise.

Setting the scene

Some 60% of Bristol’s ethnic minority population live in areas of economic disadvantage, and two-thirds of these in the city’s most disadvantaged inner-city wards.

The city is also marked as the 7th worst of 348 districts in England & Wales for Black and ethnic minority communities to live and thrive, with equality gaps failing to improve since 2001.

Babbasa was founded to create pathways for young people to build confidence, develop skills, connect with employers and mentors, and access workplace experience. It addresses persistently high levels of Black, Asian, & minority ethnic youth unemployment, low educational attainment, and declining aspirations in Bristol’s inner-city communities.

How we helped

Our relationship with Babbasa began with financial support in the form of a ColourBrave grant; our ColourBrave Charity Committee allocates grants and develops volunteering opportunities to support Black-led social enterprises, as well as charities with Black and ethnic minority beneficiaries.

This led to a closer relationship which has seen us provide hands-on support for Babbasa, especially in its work with young entrepreneurs in Bristol. 

We hosted the launch of a joint programme by Babbasa and Opulence Growth, which supports the development of entrepreneurs from under-represented backgrounds building socially beneficial businesses. 

The entrepreneurs visited our Glass Wharf office for our annual firmwide volunteering event One Firm One Day, where they learned about marketing and finance - led by our Bristol office senior partner Tom Ayerst in recognition of the barriers Black entrepreneurs face when accessing funding.

They were then joined by various board members for a Q&A on leadership. Babbasa partners with the City of Bristol College, so we simultaneously ran a session for 16-18 year olds on personal branding and financial literacy.

Julie Taylor

"Babbasa is a hugely impactful Bristol social enterprise; we identify with their purpose and so built a relationship that sees us couple financial support with skilled volunteering to help them achieve their aims. “Partnering with Babbasa enables us to better engage with young people in Bristol from under-represented backgrounds, and offer them opportunities to connect and learn more about the sorts of skills they will need to succeed, whether in further education, employment or owning their own business. “We know that the number of connections young people make with employers is directly linked to their likelihood of gaining meaningful employment later in life, so building awareness of PwC, professional services and opportunities in the wider business community is crucial. "

Julie Taylor, Senior manager and Social Mobility Lead for PwC in Bristol

Making a difference

The events and work with Babbasa have directly impacted 40+ young people, giving them new knowledge and skills. One young entrepreneur said they had “an unforgettable day at PwC” which left them “fuelled with inspiration” and “armed with advice from the best in the industry”.

Building the relationship has given us new links and connections with local schools, colleges, and social mobility advocates. It has also deepened our knowledge of the local community, and the challenges disadvantaged and underrepresented groups face in securing meaningful employment.

Contact us

Annual Report enquiries

Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom

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