British Business Bank announces partnership with RNIB

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The British Business Bank has announced a new partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The bank will work with the RNIB to help create an environment where blind and visually impaired people participate equally, removing barriers to business for people with sight loss.

Only one in four people with vision loss of working age are employed. There are currently 11,000 visually impaired people in the UK actively seeking employment, and one of the initial aims of the new partnership is to empower and enable visually impaired entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards setting up their own businesses. .

As a first step, RNIB will produce Braille, audio and large print versions of existing seed loan materials and will help the Bank provide accessible pathways across all of its client contact channels. This will involve changes to the Bank’s websites and its seed loan application process, as well as staff training.

Additionally, to improve accessibility within its own recruitment process, the British Business Bank became one of the first organizations to pass the first part of the Visibly Better Employer Framework, to become a ‘Visibly Better Employer’. This quality standard helps employers become more inclusive and will help the Bank increase the number of people with sight loss who apply for employment opportunities and become employed by the organization.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank, said:

“The British Business Bank is proud to partner with the RNIB to ensure that people who are blind and partially sighted have equal opportunity, both in the workplace and in accessing the funding and mentoring they need. need to start their business. Our goal is to create a fairer environment as the economy recovers from the impact of Covid-19 so that top talent can thrive.

David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said:

“We are delighted to be working closely with British Business Bank to help and support people who are blind and partially sighted. Working with British Business Bank presents a great opportunity to focus on helping blind and partially sighted people achieve their aspirations. It is essential that businesses enable people living with sight loss to realize their potential and enable them to play an important role in contributing to the economy.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

“We want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background, has the same opportunity to succeed and succeed on the basis of merit.

“The government’s British Business Bank is breaking down barriers for visually impaired people trying to start their own businesses, freeing up talent across the country as we build back more fairly from the pandemic.”

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Small Business Lending at British Business Bank and Martin O’Kane, Strategic Head of Employment at RNIB, will discuss how to ensure the lending landscape is accessible and inclusive in the Show Zone Me the Money at the virtual StartUp 2022 event at 12 p.m. on January 21.

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