An inspirational roll call of the most exceptional Black professionals and entrepreneurs have been chosen as finalists in this year’s 2019 Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards), taking place at St Paul’s Leonardo Royal Hotel, London on 3 October 2019.

Black British Business Awards 2019
Arts & Media Rising Star finalists: Elizabeth Uviebinene, and Yomi Adegoke

The announcement of this year’s finalists earlier this week, placed the spotlight on the UK’s rising stars. We recognize some of the finalists, having featured them in Melan Magazine. However, the awards go so much further, providing an opportunity to recognize established leaders thriving in their respective business sectors, many of whom would not ordinarily get the kudos they so richly deserve.

Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-Founder of the Black British Business Awards stated: “Each year the Black British Business Awards unearths such an impressive pool of talent and this year is no different. We are celebrating a stand-out range of business aptitude, from rising stars Elizabeth Uviebinene and Yomi Adegoke, authors of the empowering book ‘Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’, Uzo Okwuosa, Designer at Frank Hornand, who’s collections have been shown at some of London’s most prestigious design and craft exhibitions and senior leader Born Barikor, sporting entrepreneur, Founder, and CEO of Our Parks.”

Black British Business Awards 2019
Entrepreneur Rising Star finalists: Jen Scott and Jamie Tavares, Hustle & Heels Ltd

A key objective of the BBBAwards is to inspire the next generation of business game-changers who often bring a unique perspective to the table. As Black British Business Awards, Financial Services, Senior Leader Finalist, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu commented:

“Diversity is more than physical attributes – it’s also about diversity of thought and perspectives. We are being more intentional by making diversity and inclusion a business priority as this drives culture and fosters a sense of belonging.”

Black British Business Awards 2019
Arts & Media Leader of the Year finalist: Dorothy Koomson

The 2019 Black British Business Awards are split into six industry categories, which celebrate both rising stars and senior leaders.

The finalists for BBBAwards 2019 are:

Arts & Media Rising Star

  • Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, Authors, SLAY IN YOUR LANE
  • Christina Okorocha, Rumbi Mupindu and Ruby Aryiku, Co-Founders, VAMP Media
  • Fiona Rutherford, Social Editor, Bloomberg News


Arts & Media Leader of the Year

  • Colin Gillespie, Chief Strategy Officer, All Response Media
  • Dorothy Koomson, Author and Journalist, Dorothy Koomson
  • Sharon Watson, Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre


Consumer & Luxury Rising Star

  • Jamela Acheampong, Founder and Brand Director, Kahmune
  • Deborah Ajaja, Founder and Director, Baby of Colour Milestones
  • Uzo Okwuosa, Designer, Frank Horn


Consumer & Luxury Leader of the Year

  • Laura Battley, Company Secretary and Group General Counsel, New Look
  • Aicha Mckenzie, CEO and Director, AMCK Group
  • Sarah Nelson, Head of Logistics Finance, Sainsbury’s


Entrepreneur Rising Star

  • Jamelia Donaldson, Founder, Treasure Tress
  • Samuel Mensah, Owner and Director, Uncle Johns Bakery
  • Jen Scott and Jamie Tavares, Hustle & Heels Ltd


Entrepreneur Leader of the Year

  • Born Barikor, CEO and Founder, Our Parks
  • Hanif Kara, Design Director, AKT II and Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology, Harvard GSD
  • Joshua Umoren and Sena Mortoo, co-founders, Morts and More


Financial Services Rising Star

  • Abisola Barber, Trading Business Manager, Barclays
  • Olusiji Sanya, Director, Co-Founder and CFO, Tranzfar
  • Zabrina Smith, Senior VP, Market Advocacy & Innovation Research, Northern Trust


Financial Services Leader of the Year

  • Sophia Aluko, Head of Service Management, Barclays
  • Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director, EMEA Head Payments & Receivables, Treasury and Trade, Citigroup
  • Justin Onuekwusi, Fund Manager & Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, Legal & General Investment Management


Professional Services Rising Star

  • Roy Appiah, Senior Associate, Clifford Chance LLP
  • Dara Kirton, Senior Management, PwC
  • Macky O’Sullivan, Senior Associate, King & Spalding


Professional Services Leader of the Year

  • Teresa Owusu-Adjei, Partner, PwC
  • Richard Iferenta, Partner, KPMG LLP
  • Darren Rosier, London Managing Partner, King & Wood Mallesons


STEM Rising Star

  • Biko Agozino, Analyst, JPMorgan Chase
  • Tobi Babalola, Smart Electric Vehicle Manager, Kaluza
  • Kayisha Payne, Associate Scientist, AstraZeneca PLC


STEM Leader of the Year

  • Gisela Abbam, Chair, British Science Association
  • David Germain, Group Chief Information and Technology Officer, RSA Insurance Group
  • Sharon Lee, Associate Director, Arup

Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists.

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