Spotlight on BE United

Posted: 16 August 2022, in Member Spotlight

We’re delighted to be joined for our latest spotlight by BE United, an arts, cultural and social entrepreneurial organisation that advocates for, highlights, and celebrates Black, African and Caribbean excellence in Scotland. We caught up with Emma Picken to find out more about the work they do, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?

We aim to provide a platform/voice for Scotland’s Black African & Caribbean community.

How do you do it?

We use arts as the medium. We create training and development opportunity for creatives, host events to showcase and develop talent, build partnerships and collaborations to increase employment within the arts and screen sector.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?

I want to shake up old ways of doing things and see more people who don’t look like me working and thriving in my sector and others.

What are your current projects?

We are currently working on 3 shows that will take place at this years Edinburgh Fringe. We are showcasing the best black musicians in Scotland over 3 nights. Using music as a medium to share stories and give artists a platform to express themselves, as part of Scotland’s year of the stories.

If you are in Edinburgh at the Fringe, our 3 shows are a MUST! The talent we have programmed is incredible and we guarantee you will be blown away by it.

BE United Presents: Live @ Fringe

18th & 19th August @ Fruitmarket

20th August @ Biscuit Factory

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

What exciting things do you have coming up?

We are building our trading arm, which works within film and tv specifically. We cast extras onto productions and source trainees to crew on productions. We are making huge impact on the Scottish Screen sector and we will continue to do so. Check out a recent feature here Championing Diversity in Scotland’s film and TV industry with BE United | Screen Scotland.

Who do you want to work with more?

More arts organisations and incoming productions to Scotland.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Capacity, we are a small but mighty team. We are growing and I know it will change, right now I would love to have a bigger team.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

Don’t look for the glitz and the glam and the accolades. What you do in private you are rewarded in public for. Put in the work – you’ll get there.

For more information about BE United, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep updated with their work.

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