Sharon Jandu, managing director of the Northern Asian Power policy think tank, has been appointed as Chair of Unity Enterprise and a Board Member of Unity Housing Association.
Amongst other leadership positions, Sharon, a co-founder of Yorkshire Asian Business Association, also serves as the Federation of Small Businesses Area Leader in Yorkshire, the Humber and the North-East, and is a Confederation of British Industry Regional Council Member for Yorkshire and the Humber,
Unity Enterprise and Unity Housing Association are part of the Unity Homes and Enterprise Group based in the Chapeltown area of Leeds.
Unity Housing Association was formed in 1987 to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds, and now manages over 1,350 properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds.
Unity Enterprise was established in 2000 as a not-for-profit subsidiary company to support local entrepreneurial activity. It currently provides 142 affordable units for more than 80 diverse businesses across three centres in Leeds.
That number is set to increase next summer following the completion of a £1.8 million Leeds Media Centre redevelopment scheme which will create 12 new units and a bespoke business hub.
Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Sharon to Unity. She is a highly respected, dynamic leader with a wealth of experience gained in the private, public and third sectors.
“Sharon also has a deep appreciation of the issues affecting the communities we are privileged to work with every day.
“The revitalisation of these communities is not just about providing high quality affordable homes, but also stimulating social and economic regeneration, improving life opportunities and addressing inequalities within sustainable neighbourhoods.
“In her dual roles, Sharon will enable Unity to further advance these objectives.”
Sharon said: “I lived in Chapeltown for nearly 10 years, know the area well and how it feels to live in a challenged community.
“Unity has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most successful and forward-thinking housing associations, driven by its social purpose to fight inequality and empower BME people.
“Unity Enterprise is a key component of this work through its support for local businesses including initiatives to identify and develop local entrepreneurs. The upgrade of Leeds Media Centre will provide a major boost to these efforts and increase economic activity in Chapeltown and surrounding areas.
“As Chair, I look forward to being at the heart of delivering a winning strategy to help many more people fulfil their business potential and live better lives.”