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Initiative launches to foster entrepreneur booksellers from underrepresented communities

Melanie May | 24 September 2021 | News

Leafing through a book in a bookshop

Ethically conscious book-buying platform Bookshop.org and The Booksellers Association have launched New Futures, a programme to select, reach and foster new bookshops founded by entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities across the UK.

The New Futures initiative encourages applicants from underrepresented communities, including individuals who identify as black and other marginalised ethnicities, LGBTQIA+, working class, physically disabled, neurodiverse, sufferers of mental health issues and those with learning disabilities amongst others, who feel they have the potential to build viable bookselling businesses.

Winners will be chosen through a shortlisting, mentoring, and judging process, and will then receive hands-on support from industry partners in retail, technology, and the book trade – including The Booksellers Association, Gardners Books, The Bookseller and Midas PR – through a programme of education and support to help them build their business plan for a multichannel bookshop.

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Successful applicants will be given all the tools they need to launch a bookshop that creates new and sustainable routes for diverse books to get into the hands of more readers and contribute to increased vibrancy and resilience in British communities.

Judges will include novelist, screenwriter and contributing editor to the Observer Nikesh Shukla; founder and CEO of Beautystack and The Stack World Sharmadean Reid; founder of Dialogue Books and Bookshop.org board member Sharmaine Lovegrove; HarperCollins’s Talent and Audience Development Manager Nancy Adimora; The Bookseller Editor Phillip Jones; and indie bookseller at Independent Bookshop of the Year Sevenoaks Bookshop Fleur Sinclair.

The deadline for entries is 12 November.

For UK Fundraising’s own bookshop on Bookshop.org, click here.

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