A week ago, on the 6th of October, I had the privilege of attending the third Black British Business Awards (#BBBAwards) ceremony that took place at the St Paul’s Grange Hotel. As it is #blackhistorymonth, it is a fitting time to celebrate these current business stars, who will certainly leave their mark on the British business scene of the future.
Checking into the Grange Hotel for the 2016 @thebbbawards !!! A celebration of talent, diversity , inclusion and excellence! #bbbaward2016 #bbbawards #londonbusiness #blackbusiness #britishblackbusiness #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy
The Black British Business Awards, founded by Melanie Eusebe (right) and Sophie Chandauka (left), celebrates and promotes the significant contribution that black professionals and entrepreneurs make to the United Kingdom. The awards recognise established leaders and rising stars in science, technology, arts and the media, professional services, financial services and entrepreneurs.
Fourteen exceptional business men and women were celebrated at the ceremony with over 450 guests in attendance from across British business, media and politics. It was an inspirational afternoon.
After an opening address by Chuka Umunna MP,whom stated that it was crucial to celebrate the achievements of Black British business community and that Brexit will present numerous opportunities for the African and Caribbean diaspora…
Brexit has given the Black British biz community opportunities to leverage the growth in emerging markets – @ChukaUmunna @theBBBAwards
— beautypulselondon (@beautypulse_ldn) October 6, 2016
… we were then treated to Caribbean inspired lunch. Once the ceremony commenced we were able to learn more about each of the finalists – all of whom were extremely accomplished. The energy in the room was extremely positive as we all celebrated with those who had been shortlisted.
It’s lunch time at the @thebbbawards ! The room is full of 500 amazing business people changing the face of British #business #bbbaward2016 #TheBBBAwards #london #business #britishblackbusiness
Twelve of winning recipients were recognised in the following categories:
Image Award Winner
Network Impact Winners
Financial Services Leader of the Year
Carol Lake – Managing Director, International Markets, Corporate Responsibility, J.P. Morgan
Financial Services Rising Star
Charlene Brown – Legal Counsel, Bank of New York Mellon
Arts & Media Leader of the Year
Misan Sagay – Screenwriter and Producer
Arts & Media Rising Star
Timothy Armoo – CEO, Fanbytes
Professional Services Leader of the Year
Walter H. White Jr – Partner, McGuireWoods LLP
Professional Services Rising Star
Winnie Annan-Forson – HR Business Partner, Barclays
Consumer & Luxury Leader of the Year
Najoh Tita-Reid – VP and Country Division Head at Bayer Consumer Health for UK & Ireland, Bayer plc
Consumer & Luxury Rising Star
Antony Pink – Co-Founder and COO, Laundrapp
Entrepreneur Leader of the Year
Damian Melville – Director, Melville & Daughters Funeral Directors
Entrepreneur Rising Star
Dumi Oburota – Founding Director, Disturbing London Records Limited
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Leader of the Year
Marcia Boakye-Keating – Oncology Team Leader, Roche Products Limited
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Rising Star
Jonathan Lule – Energy Project Manager, EDF Energy
It was also great to see Ade Hassan of Nubian Skin (Entrepreneur – Rising Star finalist) and fellow UCL BME Alumni committee member Dr Patrice Baptiste, a medical doctor and founder of Dream Smart Tutors on the shortlist!
Of the ceremony, Melanie Eusebe said:
“I congratulate all of the nominees and winners of the third Black British Business Awards – each one of them are evidence of the wealth of talent from the black community contributing substantially to the UK’s economy. These individual achievements highlight the breadth and depth of business talent across the UK and show that an individual’s potential to succeed should not be governed by the colour of their skin.
The programme has gone from strength to strength over the last three years and we are overwhelmed the resoundingly positive response and impact that it has had.”
The afternoon concluded with the presentation of the Black British Business Person of 2016 to Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, FRAM.
Chi Chi is Principal Double Bassist and co-founder of the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and Founder of The Chineke! Foundation. The Chineke! Foundation has been established to provide career opportunities to young BME classical musicians in the UK and Europe. In the past 12 months the orchestra has received five star ratings reviews from the press, has been made an Associate Orchestra of the South Bank Centre, was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Ensemble category and had their work featured prominently in the Government’s White Paper on Culture.
Check out a montage of the afternoon here and make sure you don’t miss next year’s event!