OUTBRITAIN BUSINESS SHOWCASE – COMING TO SOUTH WEST
Article by Business Editor of PlymouthLive William Telford
Talking to OutBritain Founder Matt Dabrowski
OutBritain founder Matt Dabrowski aims to find out how many LGBTQ+ businesses are in South West and how they benefit the economy.
The UK’s leading organisation for LGBTQ+ businesses is planning to hold a major event in Plymouth this summer to highlight the contribution such businesses make to the economy and put them in touch with each other.
OutBritain was set up in mid-2021 to support small and medium sized businesses where at least one owner identifies as LGBTQ+ and already has dozens if members around the country.
OutBritain founder and chief executive Matt Dabrowski is working with a Plymouth company to set up an event in Britain’s Ocean City in late summer 2022.
He said: “It would be to introduce businesses to OutBritain and our network, so LGBTQ+ businesses can meet other LGBTQ+ businesses.”
Mr Dabrowski, originally from the USA but now basing his organisation in London and Scotland, where he initially started the OutScotland organisation in 2020, said that in his home country the LGBTQ+ business community generates US$1.3tn in revenue every year. He wants to find out what the situation is in the UK, including in Plymouth.
He said: “In the UK we don’t know how many LGBTQ+ businesses there are, how many people are employed in them, and the revenue from those businesses. We want to find out the data and statistics.”
OutBritain was set up to offer professional support for LGBTQ+ business leaders, and Mr Dabrowski, who had been an executive director of the Connecticut LGBT Chamber of Commerce in the USA, now wants to focus on the South West.
He said: “OutBritain was officially launched back in the Summer of 2021, with the ‘Out’ brands bringing a greater focus on the the importance of LGBTQ+ diversity in supply chain management and procurement in the UK marketplace.”
Mr Dabrowski said he had realised that the UK had yet to recognise the benefits of LGBTQ+ certification, and “a more structured approach to diversity” in procurement and supplier management.
He set about researching the potential to introduce the LGBT Chamber of Commerce model he had been part of in the USA to the British market.
He said: “The aim of OutBritain is to promote economic opportunities for LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the South West.
OutBritain is now working with Plymouth-based Dorcas Media, an LGBTQ+ public relations and marketing agency, to organise the Plymouth event.
Mr Dabrowski said: “It will be highlighting the agenda of organisations and companies wanting to work with LGBTQ+ businesses.
One of our ‘Out’ brands will be the introduction of a ‘Rainbow Flag’ of business certification for South West businesses. LGBTQ+ owned companies are routinely sought out by businesses who want to work with other LGBTQ+ business communities.”
“As the exclusive, third party LGBTQ+ certification body in the UK, OutBritain will verify that eligible businesses are majority-owned by LGBTQ+ individuals, and grant LGBTQ+ Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) accreditation.
In turn, certified LGBTBE companies gain access to OutBritain and OutScotland corporate sponsors, members, partners and affiliates.”
Kevin Kelway, who runs Dorcas Media with his husband and fellow director Ian Fleming, is looking for the Plymouth media agency to become among the first Rainbow Flag affiliated businesses, as the agency celebrates nine years in business.
Mr Kelway, said: “Dorcas Media is looking to organise the first OutBritain event in Plymouth later this Summer. Working with OutBritain, the showcase will be partly business networking, staged debates, and very much a relaxed social event.”
For more information about OutBritain: https://www.outbritain.co.uk
Anyone wanting to take part in the OutBritain event should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dorcasmedia.com