The Black British Business Awards, now in its seventh year, has announced its 2020 finalists representing some of the country’s best black talent across a range of industries.
Launched in Britain in 2014, the awards aim to celebrate and recognise “the often unsung contributions of exceptional black business professionals and entrepreneurs” in arts and media, consumer and luxury, entrepreneurs, financial services, professional services, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
The finalists this year have been selected not only for their personal and professional achievements, but against the tumultuous backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka, co-founders called this year’s finalists "some of the most determined and innovative black leaders in the UK".
"What particularly shines through is the variety of professions; from a founder of a revolutionary equine nutrition system to a book publisher and managing directors at top financial corporations. These exceptional individuals should be extremely proud of their achievements, they are inspiring the next generation of black talent to challenge convention and follow in their footsteps."
The Telegraph is a media partner for the awards, the main sponsors for which include JP Morgan, Barclays, Baker McKenzie, Bloomberg, Facebook, Fortnum and Mason, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
The winners for each category will be announced during a digital awards ceremony on October 2.
Arts & Media Rising Star
Magdalene Abraha – Publisher at Jacaranda Books
Malakaï Sargeant – Director of Theatre Peckham
Nnena Nwakodo – Producer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Arts & Media Leader of the Year
Anthony Andrews – Co-founder and Creative Director of We Are Parable
Denise Maxwell – Director and Lead Photographer at Lensi Photography
Gail Babb – Lecturer and Deputy Director of BA Performance at Goldsmith University
Consumer & Luxury Rising Star
Iré Hassan-Odukale – Managing Director at Ikoyi
Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate – Co-founders of Afrocenchix
Sarah-Jane Bampoe-Addo – Senior Program Manager at Amazon
Consumer & Luxury Leader of the Year
Brandie Deignan – Managing Director at Marco Pierre White Restaurants
Nigel and Victoria Ogunniyi – Co-founders of FAVOUR Catering and Events
Sandra Murphy – Founder of Equidiet UK Ltd
Entrepreneur Rising Star
Ayesha Ofori – CEO and Founder of Black Property Network
Izzy Obeng – Founder of Foundervine
Wilfred Fianko, Stephen Boakye and Peter Olowe – Co-founders of Cornerstone Partners
Entrepreneur Leader of the Year
Julia Senah – Clinical Director of Almond Care Limited
Sanmi Adegoke – CEO of Rehoboth Property International
Trevor Robinson OBE – Founder and Executive Creative Director of Quiet Storm Financial Services
Lewis Sinclair Parry – Associate of Rothschild & Co
Mariolla Baffour – Vice President, Securities Division of Goldman Sachs
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy – Digital Product Manager at Barclays
Financial Services Leader of the Year
Anulika Ajufo – Head of Investments (Africa and Middle East) and Global Head of Investment Consulting, The Sagana Group
Gavin Lewis – Managing Director, Head of UK LGPS at BlackRock
Kene Ejikeme – Managing Director, Securities Division at Goldman Sachs
Professional Services Rising Star
Alex Alleyne – Enterprise Sales Lead at Amazon Web Services
Anthony Ojukwu – Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Natalie Carter – Senior Associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP
Professional Services Leader of the Year
Bennard Owusu – Senior Partner at BWF Solicitors
Nnenna Ilomechina – Managing Director and Partner, Strategy, Communications, Media, Tech at Accenture
Segun Osuntokun – London Office Managing Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
STEM Rising Star
Frida Nzaba – Advanced Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce Plc
Georgia Thompson – Design Co-ordinater at BAM Nuttall Ltd
Ninarita Williams – Project Manager at Transport for London
STEM Leader of the Year
Dr Abdullahi Sheriff - Executive, Solutions Strategy, Strategic Partnerships & Solutions, Europe at GE Healthcare
Cecil Peters - Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Obum Ekeke - Global Lead, University Relations & Educational Partnerships at DeepMind
Rachael Palmer - Head of VC and Start-up Partnerships, EMEA at Google