Kené Umeasiegbu, Campaigns Director at Tesco, has been named ‘Business Person of the Year’ at the 2022 Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards).
Kené Umeasiegbu, who joined Tesco in 2013, is recognised for having made a big impact to the supermarket giant’s public and stakeholder engagement on health, climate and diet. During the 9th annual BBBAwards ceremony, which took place on 29 September in central London, Umeasiegbu was commended for his two decades-long passion for sustainability that has seen him work with not-for-profit, consulting and corporations across continents.
After being announced as ‘Business Person of the Year’ at the 9th annual BBBAwards, their first in person event since the pandemic, Kené, Umeasiegbu, who is also a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, spoke about what drives him and shared advice for young Black professionals wanting to succeed. He said: “It is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration; true discipline will help”.
“We can always find stories of when things did not work and we had negative experiences, but we can also find stories where we had peers, allies and sponsors supporting us.”
“We can always find stories of when things did not work and we had negative experiences, but we can also find stories where we had peers, allies and sponsors supporting us. I think we need to tell more of those stories – that encourages the next generation more.”
As in previous years, the BBBAwards recognised 36 Rising Stars and Senior Leaders across six industry sectors: Arts and Media, Consumer and Luxury, Entrepreneurs, Financial Services, Professional Services, and STEM.
“We celebrate this breathtaking group of professionals and entrepreneurs who are competing on the global stage, representing the very best Britain has to offer.”
Speaking about the achievements of this year’s honorees, Chair of the BBBAwards Sophie Chandauka MBE, said: “This group of BBBAwards finalists is extraordinary because of the pandemic, geo-political and socio-economic circumstances surrounding their accomplishments.
“We celebrate this breathtaking group of professionals and entrepreneurs who are competing on the global stage, representing the very best Britain has to offer. They remind us of the importance of self-belief despite the odds; the merit of striving for excellence and the requirement of perseverance.”
This year, the BBBAwards also celebrated two individual honorary awards. The first award, Influencer of the Year, recognises a person of African or Caribbean heritage who has shaped British public opinion, industry, vocation or culture. The second, Ally of the Year Award, celebrates the work of senior Allies of the Black community who continue to strive for diversity and equality in business.
Read on for a full list of all the winners.
Black British Business Person of the Year
Kené Umeasiegbu, Campaigns Director, Tesco
Arts and Media Rising Star
Yinka Ilori, Founder and Creative Director, Yinka Ilori Studio
Arts and Media Senior Leader of the Year
Suzann McLean, CEO and Artistic Director, Theatre Peckham
Consumer and Luxury Rising Star
Prince Chakanyuka, E-commerce Customer Supply Chain Manager, P&G
Consumer and Luxury Senior Leader of the Year
Patrice Gordon, Director, Commercial Strategy Development, Virgin Atlantic
Entrepreneur Rising Star
Troy Johnson, Founder, Juici Jerk Ltd
Entrepreneur Senior Leader of the Year
Connie Barrett, Owner & Director, Kids in Charge
Financial Services Rising Star
Natalie Ojevah MBE, Eagle Labs Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Barclays
Financial Services Senior Leader of the Year
Sean Alleyne, Chief Operating Officer, Credit Suisse International
Professional Services Rising Star
Vincent Egunlae, Strategic Leadership Team, Assistant Manager, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Professional Services Senior Leader of the Year
John McCalla-Leacy, Partner & UK Head of ESG, KPMG UK
STEM Rising Star
Ivan Kayima, CEO, Spiela
STEM Senior Leader of the Year
Ike Olowoye, Senior Director, Late Oncology Global Portfolio and Project Management, AstraZeneca
Influencer of the Year Award recipient
Professor Shirley Thompson OBE, Renowned Classical Composer and Musician
Ally of the Year Award recipient
Brian Corr, Head of Market Intervention, Retail Banking Financial Conduct Authority