Astrid and Miyu has announced the launch of two separate mentorship programmes aimed at supporting black-owned businesses and students.
The programmes will support six young black business owners with the “start-up lifecycle” and help 10 black students “kickstart” their career in the fashion industry.
The initiative has been launched in support of Black Lives Matter, and founder Connie Nam has pledged her full three-month salary towards providing grants and mentorship to black-owned consumer brand businesses.
Leah Remfry-Peploe and Nikki Michelsen, co-founders of Ohne, have collaborated with four of Astrid and Miyu teammembers to offer a three-month ‘Accelerator Programme’ covering all aspects of business, tailored to the needs of each entrepreneur.
Six business owners will be selected for mentoring, and will each be awarded a £3,000 grant on completion of the programme.
The programme will begin in July with a one-hour video session with Nam, and the entrepreneurs will then be assigned a mentor who “best fits their needs” to guide them for a further two months.
Nam has also launched the ‘Graduate Accelerator Programme’, designed to give BAME students skills and guidance to help with their career.
Some 10 students will be paired with Astrid and Miyu’s management and senior team, and will be mentored on areas including marketing, account management, merchandising, design and buying.
The programme will also begin in July, and students will gain feedback and guidance on their CV and cover letter, work on a research project and be provided with “key” resources to help them begin their career.
Nam said: “We have seen extreme cruelty in humanity that has prompted us to all think about fundamental issues surrounding racism and diversity.
“This issue is very true to my heart. Having grown up and worked in predominantly white societies, I have experienced implicit and sometimes explicit racism, as well as sexism and stereotyping in a male dominant industry prior to founding A&M.”
She added: “I know that others have experienced much more significant racial cruelty and that we have a long way to go, but we wanted to make sure we are doing something real to make an impact to individuals in the BAME community.”