Twelve influential Black business founders have joined the Lloyds Banking Group Black Business Advisory Committee, along with chair, Claudine Reid, MBE.

Black business

The appointments follow last December’s announcement that Lloyds Banking Group would be recruiting outstanding figures in the Black business to the committee to begin dialogue on understanding the barriers to success within Black businesses.

The banking group has commissioned Black Business Network and Savanta to carry out new research to chart the entrepreneurial journey for Black people; from early-stage education through to mature businesses. In addition to this, the Black Business Advisory Committee is calling on Black entrepreneurs to take part in a virtual Community Conversation event taking place on 12 April.

During the event, committee members will be sharing the highs and lows from their personal journey and speaking about why engagement is important in order to build stronger sustainable businesses.

“Today, I’m calling on fellow businesspeople and aspiring entrepreneurs to come forward. We want to hear from you.”

The findings of all this work will be used to inform Lloyds Banking Group’s future activities to support the growth of businesses owned and run by Black business leaders.

Claudine Reid MBE, Black Business Advisory Committee Chair, comments: “With a stellar line up of experts on board I’m certain we’ll be successful in our collective ambition to shed light on the needs of and barriers faced by the Black business community. Not only this, but we’ll then be also able to create a tangible set of recommendations for Lloyds Banking Group to implement and others to learn from about how the world of business can transform to become fully inclusive of the Black community.

“Today, I’m calling on fellow businesspeople and aspiring entrepreneurs to come forward. We want to hear from you. Your insights will be truly invaluable in helping us develop our recommendations and make sure they really resonate with businesses up and down the country. Ultimately, we believe it will help our fellow Black business owners to have the best opportunity to start, grow and thrive.”

Member of the Black Business Advisory Committee in detail (in alphabetical order)

Black business

Antonia Burrell

Owner of Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare and selected as a top 100 industry influencer by Professional Beauty UK. A regular public speaker on topics relating to women in business.

Cecil Adjalo

Director at award-winning social enterprise, Foundervine, and oversees the Business Intelligence department at rapidly growing Danish Tech Scale-Up, Dixa. Listed by the Financial Times as one of the 100 most influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech.

Claudine Reid MBE (Chair)

Award-winning Business Psychologist and Social Entrepreneur. Voted one of Britain’s top 100 women entrepreneurs by Real Business Magazine (2008) and listed by Keep the Faith magazine as one of Britain’s most influential Black women (2017 and 2019) as well as being listed as one of Britain’s top 100 most entrepreneurial women.

Evadney Campbell MBE

Award-winning lecturer, broadcast journalist, trainer and public relations consultant with over thirty years of experience in education, consultancy and media. Awarded an MBE by the Queen in 1995 for her dedication to charity work.

Imelda Fossu

Visionary entrepreneur, innovator and public speaker who, at just 25, is inspiring a new generation of change-makers to overcome their self-doubt and adopt a limitless mindset. Leads the The Fossu Group, an innovation factory turning concepts into reality today, while building the most impactful and inclusive companies of tomorrow.

Izzy Obeng

Founder and Managing Director of Foundervine, a social enterprise specialising in start-up and scale-up acceleration programmes. In 2019 was named by Tech Nation as one of the 50 most influential black voices in UK tech.

Khalia Ismain

Founder of Jamii, a discount and discovery platform for black-owned businesses. Passionate about reducing the barriers faced by Black British founders.

Margaret Ochieng

Organisational psychologist and founder of The Inclusive Village, an evidence-based consultancy that specialises in people, talent and culture solutions. Co-authored Fair to Refer (2019), a piece of UK-wide research for the General Medical Council investigating the disproportionate representation of minority ethnic doctors in fitness to practice processes and The Black Vanguard (2019) which investigated the experiences of the most senior Black leaders in UK organisations.

Mary Agbesanwa

Runs PwC’s Fintech Scale Programme for fast-growing b2b fintech start-ups and co-leads PwC’s Multicultural Business Network which has 1000+ members. Listed as #1 EMpower Future Leader 2020 and McKinsey Inspire Next Generation Women Leader 2020.

Michelle Raymond

HR Consultant, Visibility Strategist and award-winning International TEDx Speaker. Michelle and her team at The People’s Partner help businesses grow exponentially by transforming the skills of their people, developing peak performance and raising their visibility through consultation, coaching and training.

Nathaniel Peat

Multi-award winning entrepreneur. Listed on the 2017 Black Power List, EMPower Financial Times list (2017 and 2018) and 2016 Financial Times Upstanding 100 BME Executive List. Co-founder of Gennex Solar which provides innovative renewable energy products in Africa. Founder of The Safety Box, a company whose training and development programmes assist with reducing youth violence and helping young people develop important skills. Former Trustee and co-founder of EY Foundation since 2014 and now Patron to the charity.

Rodney Appiah

Former investment banker, NED and VC investor with nearly 15 years of financial services experience across UK and Europe. He is currently the Chairman of Cornerstone Partners, a leading UK angel network focused on seed stage investments to support black and diverse founders.

Shari Leigh

Founder of Black Business Network, a corporate event and media company, designed to strengthen business connections and knowledge in the Black community.

Register for the virtual Community Conversation here.

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