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The Potential of Minority Ethnic Businesses in

Birmingham

A business research proposal


Contents

Summary.................................................................................................................................................................................3
Purpose ...............................................................................................................................................................................3
Design/methodology/approach...........................................................................................................................................3
Findings...............................................................................................................................................................................3
Research limitations/implications.......................................................................................................................................3
Practical implications..........................................................................................................................................................3
Originality/value.................................................................................................................................................................4
1. Introduction.........................................................................................................................................................................4
1.1 Statement of the Problem..........................................................................................................................................4
1.2 Study Context............................................................................................................................................................5
2. Literature Review................................................................................................................................................................5
2.1 Management Strategies.............................................................................................................................................5
2.2 Barriers to Business..................................................................................................................................................7
2.3 Potential of MEB......................................................................................................................................................7
2.4 Existing Support Services.........................................................................................................................................8
Future Needs of MEB.....................................................................................................................................................8
3. Research Aim and Objectives.............................................................................................................................................9
3.1 Aim...........................................................................................................................................................................9
3.2 Objectives.................................................................................................................................................................9
4. Research Tasks....................................................................................................................................................................9
5. Research Methodology.....................................................................................................................................................10
5.1 Research Approach.................................................................................................................................................10
5.2 Social and Economic Data......................................................................................................................................10
5.3 Desk Study..............................................................................................................................................................11
5.4 Goad Map Survey Monitoring................................................................................................................................11
5.5 Mystery Shopping...................................................................................................................................................12
5.6 Sample Interviews...................................................................................................................................................12
5.7 Classification of Outlets..........................................................................................................................................13
6. Study Area........................................................................................................................................................................13
6.1 Geography...............................................................................................................................................................14
6.2 Demography............................................................................................................................................................14
6.3 Ethnicity..................................................................................................................................................................14
6.4 Business base..........................................................................................................................................................14
6.5 Local economy........................................................................................................................................................15
7. Anticipated Results...........................................................................................................................................................16
8. Timescale..........................................................................................................................................................................16
9. Project Schedule................................................................................................................................................................17
10. Conclusion......................................................................................................................................................................18
11. References.......................................................................................................................................................................18
12. Bibliography...................................................................................................................................................................19
Appendices............................................................................................................................................................................22
Summary

Purpose
Whilst there is a growing body of literature on minority ethnic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), ironically,

little is known of the dynamics and potential of Minority Ethnic Business (MEB) community in the mainstream economy

of Sparkbrook, Birmingham. The purpose of this research is therefore to increase our understanding of the barriers to and

potential of MEB. The investigation will shape the implementation of mainstream policies and specialist programmes

designed to assist and unlock the talent of MEB in the local economy.

Design/methodology/approach
An extensive literature review of minority ethnic businesses is carried out. Goad map information is analysed to gain a

road-level understanding of the nature and dynamics of businesses. A small sample of MEB owners are interviewed to

gain a deeper insight on the potential and barriers facing the community.

Findings
The analysis and review indicate a significant potential and barriers facing the MEB community. It also advises caution

against treating MEB community with the same level or perceived success symbolised of other minority ethnic sub-

groups.

Research limitations/implications
Due to time and resource limitation a small sample size may not be representative of the diversity of MBE in the area.

Practical implications
The study will assist government agencies to segment the client market and target their resources in such a way as to

generate and maintain increased business activity within the mainstream economy.
Originality/value
Although there has been a growing body of literature on MEB comparatively little exist on MBE in Sparkbrook. The use

of Goad maps is an original methodological instrument that underpins the dynamics of MBE. The maps provides the

basis for a ‘litmus’ test of the potential of MEB against market development strategies.

1. Introduction

1.1 Statement of the Problem


The study will help MEBs to participate fully in the mainstream local economy by making a dynamic and diverse

contribution to the local economy. Government agencies have an important role to play in enabling minority businesses

engage in mainstream business activity so that business potential can be maximised.


1.2 Study Context
The subject of MEB development in UK has attracted attention from scholarly, political and media interests alike ().

Whilst, the rates of self-employment are higher amongst minority ethnic groups against the population as a whole, most

are still in low wage, low earning, low value added sectors, confined to inner city locations and servicing co-ethnic

markets. According to the profile updates information on self-employment by ethnicity in the 2001 Population Census

with data from the Annual Population Surveys for 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Indian, Chinese and Black African self-

employment as a % of economically active has reduced in latter years compared to 2001 baseline. In contrast, the

situation has reversed for White British, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean.

2. Literature Review

Numerous research studies show that more MEB are failing to start up or are not succeeding in business once started up,

have not been as successful as popular wisdom would make out (Ram,). A large majority remain economically marginal

and survive at all only because of the extremes of effort and subsidy afforded by the family management strategies and

practices.

2.1 Management Strategies

Land – location, site, premises, markets


The location of individual business is highly variable depending on where they are in relation to potential demand.

Rekers and van Kempen (2000) draw attention to this precise question, the role of internal geographical space in shaping

opportunities for minority ethnic businesses or more accurately how well placed they are for tapping into available

market potential. The physical environment, typically inner city conditions prevalent in the area is also responsible for

some of the problems facing the firms

(Wilson).
Aldrich et al (1981) assessed the degree to which Asian business development was influenced by Asian residential

segregation i.e. the extent to which Asian businesses depended on the local ethnic population for business success. They

concluded that Asian business primarily aimed to serve its own ethnic clientele.

Labour – staff, management,


The reliance and use of family labour and friends employed in a business is a noticeable feature of business organisation

and performance. The advantage it offers is that businesses are able to open longer and engage in more competitive

practices against large stores.

Capital – finance,
The level of capitalisation is equally seen as an important characteristic of business start-up and growth. Therefore,

differential usage of bank finance is an indicator of capitalisation (Wilson; Patel; Ward; Ram; ).

Enterprise – age, size, legal status,


Numerous studies indicate that the older the business the more likely it will grow and expand. However, as Storey ()

points out many businesses do not survive the critical first 3 years and those who do survive often experience a faster

growth rate than established businesses. The size of a business as measured by turnover, profit and or employment size is

considered a good indicator of business growth. The structure and legal status of a business organization also indicates

the advantages of growth. Typically, businesses start up as a sole trader, taking on partners to bring in expertise and

capital before becoming limited companies by attracting further capital by offering s stake in the company in return for

shareholder capital.

Entrepreneur – ethnicity, education, experience, motivation,


The entrepreneur characteristics are important and worthy of investigation as they serve as ingredients of why some

minority ethnic groups have gone into business and or advanced and why not others. A minority may be pushed in a

particular direction because it has no where else to go; or be motivated by a distinctive culture or supported by a social
structure or a minority may be in a right place at the right time with right amount of resources to take advantage of an

opportunity.

A recent study found no link between culture or ethnicity with enterprise (Okunta and Pandya, 2007)

2.2 Barriers to Business


A number of barriers have been identified by academics.

• Retailers often need to stock a different product mix to suit the needs of urban consumers, especially where they are

large, ethnically diverse populations.

• Local labour supplies are less skilled than in other areas.

• Understand markets consist of low-income households, and this threatens store profitability.

• There is a lack of suitable premises and costs of store development are higher in urban areas.

• Crime and the fear of crime in deprived areas are higher than elsewhere.

• Insurance is less available and more expensive due to redlining practices used by companies to identify risky areas.

• Some areas have low levels of car ownership or suffer from other factors that make consumer access to the store

problematic.

• One of the key barriers for ethnic minority businesses and entrepreneurs continues to be access to finance.

2.3 Potential of MEB


The potential of MEB will be investigated using the market matrix approach.

• The penetration strategy: Requires the business operator to seek aggressively to increase its market share. This

strategy has been pursued by those who have increased their market share at the expense of smaller stores.

• The merchandise development strategy: Can achieve additional growth by adding new merchandise to appeal to

existing customers and generate extra sales.


• The market development strategy: Can be pursued in two ways. First , new customers might be sought in

geographic areas not currently served. The second the strategy might involve attracting customers from the same

geographical areas through.

• The diversification strategy: Involves offering new merchandise for new target customer groups; it is therefore the

most expensive , riskiest and the most rewarding of the growth strategies.

2.4 Existing Support Services


The dynamics of exclusion in society generates additional needs for minority ethnic community. In the absence of any

specific MEB initiative the take-up of any support would be expected to be less than average, as little or no assistance is

targeted at retailing and service sector. The project will particularly assess how the potential of MEB can be realised with

government support.

Future Needs of MEB


The future needs identified in the literature includes:

• Smaller family size of some minority ethnic sub-groups,

• Third and fourth generation minority ethnic communities,

• Future immigration policies and instruments,

• Addressing underserved markets (Patel,),

• Need to ‘break-out’ of saturated markets (Ram,),

Other factors relevant to future needs of MEB will be identified during the dissertation phase.
3. Research Aim and Objectives

3.1 Aim
In taking into consideration the introduction, the aim of this study is to increase our understanding of business and

management practices of MEB community to help realise its full potential within the mainstream local economy.

3.2 Objectives
To sustain this aim it is necessary to identify key objectives:

1. To understand the current role of MEB community in the area/economy.

2. To analyse management strategies and business practices used to establish their business operation.

3. To identify barriers to business formation and development amongst this community.

4. To determine the potential of MEB operating in different sectors.

5. To evaluate existing support services government provides.

6. To ascertain future needs of MEB and reassess current policy.

4. Research Tasks

The range and level of tasks that will need to be implemented to realise the above aim and objectives would include:

a. an overview of the local economy, the operating business environment and state of enterprise;

b. an assessment of the role and function of MEB in the local economy;

c. an investigation into the variety of MEB currently operating in Birmingham;

d. an analysis of management strategies and business practices used to support businesses;

e. an identification of the specific needs, interests, problems and barriers encountered by MEB;

f. an overview of the current business support services available through government agencies;
g. an assessment of current unfulfilled and future needs and the mismatch between provision and aspiration.

5. Research Methodology

The tasks referenced above will need to be undertaken with some degree of sensitivity and confidentiality. Questioning

the business owners of their success and performance may be viewed as playing in the hands of their competitors.

Likewise, enquiring government agencies of the supply of their services to intended users may also be viewed with some

scepticism, cynicism and criticism. It is therefore crucial that most appropriate methodology is proposed for this study.

5.1 Research Approach

The methodology will therefore include both secondary and primary data. The secondary data will include desk research

to establish background trends of local economy and demography. Primary research will involve on-site examination of

the retail milieu, through mystery shopping to ascertain a contemporary portrait of a road-level development. This

information will be supplemented by a formal use of Goad maps, which provides historical information of the business

units, trade function and type, customer merchandise and physical parameters of the premises, including site, location

and logistics.

5.2 Social and Economic Data

Secondary research will develop a base analysis. Data will be gathered from relevant trade, business, and government

sources, including company literature and internet sources. The sources will comprise of:

a. Population Census

b. Annual Population Surveys, 2001, 2005, 2006 2007

c. Economic Intelligence
d. Retail Intelligence

e. Mintel Intelligence Reports

f. Government Data

5.3 Desk Study

A review of existing academic literature of surveys, methodologies and findings will be used to build a comprehensive

picture of recurring themes. A database of key studies undertaken on food sector and Asian communities will be

presented in the appendices. This will be supported by primary data which will include:

a. Goad Maps

b. Mystery Shopping

c. Sample Interview/Semi-structured Questionnaire

A large sample of business interviews would make the target of timescale unrealistic and adherence to this could affect

the quality of the study with no better outcome than a purely quantitative analysis. It is therefore proposed that an overall

understanding of the nature and extent of businesses operating along Stratford Road is determined. In-depth interviews

with MEBs will be obtained.

5.4 Goad Map Survey Monitoring

A series of indicators based on information contained in Goad maps are used to observe performance of activity of the

stock of retail and service-oriented businesses and determine the underlying change and growth. The Goad maps of

Sparkbrook (Soho Road), includes details of :


 major road and minor side roads and streets flowing out

 scaled premises drawn to size

 property number

 name of business

 nature of activity

 occupied premises

 vacant premises and sites

Through this methodology, trade opportunities and problems are identified and patterns can be observed of growth,

succession and decline. Reasonably reliable information is available on a number of parameters which gives us a sound

understanding of the viability of individual businesses and the vitality of particular sectors over a long period of time.

5.5 Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping consisted of telephone calls and or visits to supermarkets, restaurants and butchers to monitor

customer service. We went into the place of business and appeared as normal customers in order to evaluate the quality,

mix and match of merchandise, shop layout and displays, fixtures and fittings. This elicits better responses and the

resulting feedback is more valuable in real situations. Therefore, the scenario is an important contributor to the overall

approach. A catchment area analysis is also undertaken of the location.

5.6 Sample Interviews

The sample of 10 firms will be interviewed and the questions to be covered will be decided in consultation with

government agencies, supervisor and testing it out with an individual business. To tackle the problem owner-manager
availability during the holiday period over Spring/Easter, a larger sample will be identified. Ethical approval will be

sought and strict confidentiality shall be maintained.

5.7 Classification of Outlets

The food and drink industry is extremely diverse and classifying them into one system can prove difficult. The bases of

classification can include legal form, operational structure, range of merchandise, degree of service, pricing policy,

location, size of outlet and method of customer contact. There is some overlap between categories which continue to blur

as firms diversify and respond to changing environment. We use a combination of classification based on operational

structure e.g. independent trader, and range of merchandise e.g. groceries, and location, e.g. Soho Road.

6. Study Area

Studies on minority ethnic businesses have been carried out in many areas for example:

Bradford (Aldrich),

Cardiff (Ward)

Croydon (Mullins),

Ealing (Aldrich),

Hackney (Kazuka),

Handsworth (Patel),

Lambeth (Leo; Brooks),

Leicester (Aldrich),

Manchester (Patel; Werbner),

Wandsworth (Aldrich),
But Sparkbrook has remained neglected. The area possess a high concentration of minority ethnic businesses. It was also

a suitable size for a one person study.

6.1 Geography

Sparkbrook is an area in south-east Birmingham, England. It is one of the four wards forming the Hall Green formal

district within Birmingham City Council. The area receives its name from Spark Brook, a small stream which flowed

south of the city centre. It was later used for a canal.

6.2 Demography

The 2001 Population Census recorded that 31,485 people were living in the ward.

6.3 Ethnicity

Sparkbrook has the second highest non-white population in Birmingham, with a total of 79.3% minority ethnic residents

living in the mainly terraced area.

6.4 Business base

Sparkbrook is home to Birmingham's "Balti Triangle", and many of the residents have their own balti businesses. The

Balti houses clustered along Ladypool Road, Stoney Lane and Stratford Road, to the south of Birmingham city centre.

This area probably contains Birmingham's highest concentration of balti restaurants, as well as some of the oldest to be

found in Britain. Birmingham is popularly believed to be the birthplace of the Balti curry

http://www.davidsemporium.co.uk/_Balti.html
6.5 Local economy

The study of MEB in Sparkhill, Birmingham cannot be implemented without reference to the local economy and regional

and national trends in business and economic development. The success of the business community depends largely on

the state of the local economy. This study is being carried out at a time of just emerging out of recession. Just under 50%

are economically active population between the age 16-64 and a little over 50% are economically inactive. A little over

one-third are employed. A little under one-third have no qualifications. The unemployment rate is 21.1% across the city

but this significantly more in inner city areas such as Sparkbrook.


The largest employers include private firms such as Alpha Airport Services, WH Smiths, Joseph Ash ltd; public bodies

such as Birmingham University Officers Training Corps, Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Birmingham City

Council; and voluntary sector agencies for example, St Paul’s Project.

7. Anticipated Results
In this stage of the proposal there are two issues will be considered; the type of results that could be expected and the

ways in which data would be analysed. Consideration to the type of data that will be generated, and how it is likely to

satisfy the requirements of the research will be given. Potential problems of data collection

will be addressed, such as the difficulty in getting an acceptable response rate to a sample survey.

Some attention will also be given to the analysis of data. Will this be parametric or none parametric data or both? What

kind of statistical tests are likely to be employed? Will tests of association, causation or difference be appropriate? I

would expect that these ideas will change and develop as my research progresses.

8. Timescale
The project would need to be completed and written up for submission by end of April 2010. Consideration will be given

to holiday periods and attendance on course modules and assignments submission and examination obligations.

a. Initial preparation and arrangements

b. Secondary research

c. Business interviews

d. Data analysis

e. Initial draft (mid-March)

f. Interim draft (end of March)

g. Final submission (end of April)


Completion of the study on time will also depend on the full co-operation of al relevant businesses and full access to

necessary information. This void period is allowed and built-in the project implementation chart.

9. Project Schedule

This part of the proposal relates to resources. Time is a resource and will be carefully planned. A Gantt chart is prepared

which shows the various stages of the research, along with the expected time periods for the completion of each stage, for

example, associated with completing the research, such as data collection.

Gantt Chart

March March 3rd wk March 4th wk April 1st wk April 2nd wk April 3rd wk April 4th wk
nd
2 wk

Finalise Proposal
Gain Approval
Research Design Sample
Literature Review
Agree Protocol
Data Collection Instrument
Gather Data
Code Data
Analyse Data
Headline Results
Present Data
Write report
Finalise report
10. Conclusion

Whilst there is some research available on MEB (Basu, 1998; Ram et al, 1999;) little is no investigation exist for MEBs

in Sparkbrook. The findings of the research will influence a range of agencies in the private, public and voluntary sectors

for different reasons. For the public sector if the potential could be harnessed then the MEB would be expected to make

an increased contribution to local economy. For the private sector, supporting businesses such as accountants banks,

accountancy and legal firms, would be able to benefit from growing businesses. With more businesses starting up means

that less pressure and dependence on overstretched voluntary sector. Alternatively, social enterprises supported through

the voluntary sector could be encouraged to commercialise their business and enter mainstream economy. The research

information and data will also be useful for SMEs and MEB themselves as increased awareness grow of each other, their

markets and greater understanding of dynamics and potential within the economy.

11.References

In this section I provide details of all the references to the literature that I have used to prepare my proposal. A large

number

of references are actually used in my proposal to demonstrate my understanding of current knowledge in this field.

Basu (1998)

Blackburn (1994)

Patel ()

Ram ()

Werbner ()
12. Bibliography

There are other works that I am aware of, but which I have not actually used in preparing this proposal. These are merely

listed as a bibliography.

Aldrich, H., Carter, J., Jones, T. and McEvoy, D. (1984) Ethnic advantage and minority business development, in R.
Ward and R. Jenkins, Ethnic communities in business, strategies for economic survival, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press

Barrett, G. A., Jones, T. P. and McEvoy, D. (1996) ‘Ethnic Minority Business: Theoretical discourse in Britain and North
America’, Urban Studies, 33, 4-5, pp.783-809

Basu, A. (1996) South Asian Entrepreneurship in Britain, determinants and dynamics, ESRC

Benton, G. (2005) Final Report: Ethnic Enterprise, class and the state, the Chinese in Britain, Southeast Asia and
Australia, ESRC

CEEDR (Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research) (2000) Young entrepreneurs, women
entrepreneurs and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the EU and Central and Eastern Europe, CEEDR, Middlesex
University

Chin, Ko-lin (2000) Chinatown gangs: extortion, enterprise and ethnicity, New York: Oxford University Press

Commission for Racial Equality Scotland (2005b) Submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Enterprise and Culture
Committee’s Business Growth Inquiry,

Davies, C. and Ritchie, J. (1988) Tipping the Balance, a study of non take-up of benefits in an inner city area, London:
HMSO
Deakins, D., Ishaq, M., Smallbone, D., Whittam, G. and Wyper, J. (2005) Minority Ethnic Enterprise in Scotland: a
national scoping study, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Social Research
Department for Communities and Local Government (2005) Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: the
Government’s strategy to increase racial equality and community cohesion, DCLG

Department for Communities and Local Government (2006a) Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: One year
on, a progress report on the Government’s strategy to increase race equality and community cohesion, DCLG

Department for Communities and Local Government (2006b) Managing for diversity, a case study of four local
authorities, DCLG

Department of Trade and Industry (2003) Innovation Report, competing in the global economy the innovation challenge,
DTI
Ethnic Minority Business Forum (2005) Strategy for 2005-2008, EMBF / DTI

Ethnic Minorities in the Labour Market (2003) Final Report, Cabinet Office Strategy Unit
Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force (2006) Second Annual Report, EMETF

Hjerm, Mikael (2004) ‘Immigrant entrepreneurship in the Swedish welfare state’, Sociology, 38, 4, pp. 739-756

Housing Corporation (2005) Black and Minority Ethnic Action Plan 2005-2008, London: Housing Corporation

ICMPD, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (2003) Migrants, minorities and employment, exclusion,
discrimination and anti-discrimination in 15 EU member states, Vienna: EUMC

Law, I. (1996) Racism, Ethnicity and Social Policy, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall/ Harvester Wheatsheaf

Law, I. (1997) ‘Modernity, anti-racism and ethnic managerialism’, Policy Studies, Vol 18, 3/4, pp.189-206

Law, I. and Harrison, M. (2001) ‘Positive action, particularism and practice’, Policy Studies, Vol 21, 1, 2001, pp.35-50

Light, Ivan and Edna Bonacich, (1988) Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Koreans in Los Angeles, Los Angeles: University of
California Press
Loury, G.C., Modood, T. and Teles, S.M. (2005) Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press

Mackie, Jamie (2000) ‘The economic roles of Southeast Asian Chinese businesses: past success, recent crises and
future evolution’, in K. B. Chan (ed.) Chinese Business Networks: State , Economy and Culture, Singapore: Prentice
Hall, pp.234-260

Mascarenhas-Keyes, S. (2006) Ethnic minority small and medium enterprise in England: diversity and challenges, paper
presented to the International Council for Small Business, Melbourne, Australia

Metcalf, H., Modood, T. and Virdee, S. (1997) Asian self-employment, the interaction of culture and economics, London:
PSI

National Employment Panel in association with the EMBF (2005), Enterprising People, Enterprising Places, measures
to increase ethnic minority employment and business growth, NEP

Pollard, E., Barkworth, R., Sheppard, E. and Tamkin, P, (2005) Researching the Independent Production Sector, a
focus on minority ethnic led companies, IES/Pact/UKFC

Ram, M., Smallbone, D. and Linneker, B. (2002) Assessing the potential of supplier diversity initiatives as a means of
promoting diversification among ethnic minority businesses in the UK, Small Business Service

Ram, M. and Smallbone, D. (2003) ‘Policies to support ethnic minority enterprise’, Entrepreneurship and Regional
Development, 15, pp. 151-166

Ram, M., Jones, T. and Patton, D. (2006 forthcoming) ‘Ethnic managerialism and its discontents: policy implementation
and ‘ethnic minority business’, Policy Studies

Robinson, V. and Valeny, R. (2005) ‘Ethnic minorities, employment , self-employment and social mobility in post-war
Britain’, in Loury, G.C., Modood, T. and Runnymede Trust (2006) Why preferential policies can be fair, London:
Runnymede Trust

Teles, S.M. (eds.), Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Sanders, Jimy and Victor Nee (1996) ‘Social Capital, Human Capital, and Immigrant Self-Employment: The Family as
Social Capital and the Value of Human Capital’, American Sociological Review, 61, pp.231-249

Tong, Chee Kong (2005) Feuds and legacies: conflict and inheritance in Chinese family businesses’, International
Sociology, 20, 1, pp.45-70

Valdez, Z. (2002) Beyond Ethnic Entrepreneurship, ethnicity and the economy in enterprise, Centre for Comparative
Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego

Waldinger, R. (2005) ‘Networks and niches: the continuing significance of ethnic connections’ in Loury, G.C., Modood,
T. and Teles, S.M., (eds.) Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Ward, R. (1985) Research programme on ethnic business, ESRC

Ward, R. and Jenkins, R. (1984) Ethnic communities in business, strategies for economic survival, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press

Werbner, P. (1986) Entrepreneurs and immigrants: interaction in the Manchester garment trade, ESRC

Appendices

Sparkbrook Ward Population by Age

Percentage of Ward

Years of Age Number of People Population


0-4 3,485 11.1
5-15 7,023 22.3
16-17 1,186 3.8
18-19 1,259 4.0
20-24 2,849 9.0
25-44 8,476 26.9
45-59 3,419 10.9
60-74 2,794 8.9
75-84 768 2.4
85 and over 226 0.7
Total 31,485 100
Source: 2001 Census, Crown Copyright/BCC

Sparkbrook Ward Population by Ethnic Group

Percentage of
Number of
Ethnic Group Ward
People
Population
Asian 20555 64.3
Asian -
2660 8.3
Bangladeshi
Asian – Indian 2012 6.3
Asian –
14091 44.1
Pakistani
Black 2565 8.0
Black –
1947 6.1
Caribbean
Chinese, other 868 2.7
White 6620 20.7
White – British 5409 16.9
White – Irish 713 2.2
Mixed Background 1347 4.2

Source: 2001 Census, Crown Copyright/BCC


Sparkbrook Ward Economic Activity

Economic Activity
Percentage of
(men aged 16-64 / Number of
Ward
women aged 16- People
Population
59)
Economically
8681 47.9
Active
Economically
9459 52.1
Inactive
Employed 6212 34.2
With No
5811 32.0
Qualifications
Source: 2001 Census, Crown Copyright/BCC

Sparkbrook Ward Unemployment by Gender

Male Female Total


Number of
1,404 426 1,830
Unemployed
Unemployment Rate
24.7% 14.2% 21.1%
(%)

Note: Birmingham Average Unemployment Rate is 9.0%


Source: Office for National Statistics / BEIC (December 2006)

Sparkbrook Ward Largest Employer Organisations

Number of
Employees
Company Name (rounded to
Nature of Business
nearest 10)
Alpha Airport Services 400 food service
Birmingham University Officers
Training Corps 258 Officer training
Newspaper & magazine
WH Smith News 200 wholesalers
Steel storage tank manufacture &
Joseph Ash Ltd 200 hot tip galvanizing
St Pauls Project 200 Community project
Euro Packaging plc 180 Paper bag manufacturers
Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form
College 140 College
Manufacturers steering gear for
Burman Hi-Ton Ltd 140 automotive industry
Birmingham City Council (Social
Services Dept - Sparkbrook Area
Office) 115 Social services
Southern Birmingham Community
Health NHS Trust 100 Community health service trust
Birmingham Optical Group plc 100 Optical lens manufacturers
Birmingham City Council (Economic
Development Dept - Southside
Business Centre) 100 Business centre
St Pauls Community 100 Community centre
Prescott Powell Ltd 100 Tube Bending Engineering
Southside Business Centre 100 Business Centre

Source: Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry