Celebrating Black professionals: Black British Business Awards announce 2023 finalists

Sophie Chandauka MBE, the awards' chair

Determined champion: Sophie Chandauka MBE, the awards’ chair and executive founder (Image: )

The Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards) have announced the 2023 finalists ahead of their 10th anniversary ceremony this autumn.

The premier ceremony of its kind, the BBBAwards recognises exceptional performances of Black professionals and entrepreneurs and the event this year will be held at the InterContinental London, Park Lane on October 13.

Over the past decade the BBBAwards have showcased over 370 individuals and 80 organisations that are championing Black excellence in business.

This year it celebrates rising stars and senior leaders across six categories, representing the likes of Netflix, Accenture, Sky, Farfetch, ASOS, LinkedIn, KPMG and exceptional startups in industries ranging from publishing to healthcare.

This year’s theme is #WeAre – celebrating the collective power of the Black community and their allies coming together to drive racial equity in companies in Britain.

In honour of the milestone, this year’s celebrations and ceremony will be bigger both in sentiment and in size. The BBBAwards are also a key highlight of Black History month in the UK and the event will be attended by senior business leaders, government officials and prominent opinion shapers and influencers from all races across Britain.

Sophie Chandauka MBE, the awards’ chair and executive founder said: “As we reflect on a decade of challenge and transformation, the 10th anniversary is a testament to the immense spirit and unwavering resilience of Black British entrepreneurs and professionals.

“Our finalists navigated a difficult global economic environment to deliver extraordinary value, showcasing innovation as entrepreneurs and strategic brilliance in some of the most iconic commercial brands and systemically important corporations.

“I’m proud to welcome the Class of 2023 to our world class showcase of Black talent, and we specifically applaud the investment of their companies and allies who have stood with them to ensure their success today and for years to come!”

Gail Waterman

Entrepreneur senior leader: Gail Waterman, Co-Founder and Owner, Watermans Corporate Enterprises Lim (Image: )

Wells Fargo is sponsoring the BBBAwards for the fourth year running.

John Langley, its head of international, said: “Wells Fargo is honoured to be a part of the 10th anniversary. The unwavering tenacity, drive and commitment, coupled with the extraordinary talent of these individuals, demonstrates the power of the Black business community and the value it brings to UK industries. Our warmest congratulations to the finalists.”

For the fourth year, J.P.Morgan is the key partner, continuing its long-standing support and, for the first time, IHG Hotels & Resorts will be the BBBAwards Hospitality Partner.

This years’ Category, Supporting and Event Sponsors include Alix Partners, Baker McKenzie, Barclays, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, GSK, L’Oréal, MSCI, P&G, Sage, Tranzfar, Wellington Management and Wells Fargo.

The finalists for the 2023 BBBAwards are:

Arts and Media Rising Star

● Aaron Lynch, Senior Manager, Global Creative Marketing, Netflix

● Abiola Bello, Director, Author and Publisher, Hashtag Press Ltd

● Oluwatobi Demuren, Global Head of Advocacy Marketing, LinkedIn

Arts and Media Senior Leader of the Year

● Angela Ferreira, Managing Director, Douglas Road Productions

● Charlene Gravesande, Sky Sports Assistant Producer, Sky UK Limited

● Louisa Olafuyi, Co-Founder and COO, Kunda Kids

Consumer and Luxury Rising Star

● Kelsa Albert, People Development Lead, Farfetch

● Nomalanga Senda, Founder, Noma Creates

● Yaa Ofori-Ansah, Founder and CEO, Talking Drums

Consumer and Luxury Senior Leader of the Year

● Alexis Cepeda Maule, Managing Director of UK and Europe, Reformation

● Roger Shakes, Head Chef and Owner, Rogers Kitchen

● Vanessa Spence, Senior Creative Director, ASOS

Entrepreneur Rising Star

● Chloë Downes, Founder and CEO, SHFT

● George Imafidon, CEO, Motivez

● Myles and Bradley Jensen, Founders, Jensen & Jensen

Entrepreneur Senior Leader of the Year

● Fungai Ndemera, Founder and CEO, CheckUp Health

● Gail Waterman, Co-Founder and Owner, Watermans Corporate Enterprises Limited

● Ken and Mary Okoroafor, Founders, The Humble Penny and Financial Joy Academy

Financial services leader: Adejuwon Ogunsanya

Financial services leader: Adejuwon Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Head of UK, Africa and Israel Bank (Image: )

Financial Services Rising Star

● Joshua Bright, Vice President, Debt Syndication, SMBC Nikko

● Kwaku Kyei-Manu, Director of Wealth Application Support, SS&C

● Sutanya Chedda, European Equity Strategist, UBS AG

Financial Services Senior Leader of the Year

● Adejuwon Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Head of UK, Africa and Israel Banks Coverage, CIB, Wells Fargo

● Nigell Todd, Head of Global FX Trading, Fidelity International

● Tosin Akinluyi, Head of EMEA Macro Research, Morgan Stanley

Professional Services Rising Star

● Harold Memela, Senior Manager – Transformation and Change, KPMG

● Kyle Collins, Adobe Workfront Operations Lead UKI, EMEA, IBM

● Liseli Sumbwanyambe, Associate, McKinsey & Company

Professional Services Senior Leader of the Year

● David Otudeko, Head of Prudential Regulation, ABI

● Dinah Cobbinah, Partner FS Intelligent Process Transformation, KPMG

● Hannah Awonuga, Global Director, Head of DEI Colleague Engagement, Barclays

STEM Rising Star

● Audrey Limery, Founder and CEO, Kweevo

● Dr Azzedine Dabo, Investigator, GSK

● Tolulope Osobu, Management Consultant, Accenture

STEM Senior Leader of the Year

● Evelyn Kamau, Senior Director DCT Strategy and Innovation, Thermofisher Scientific

● Erica Nyoni, Senior Product Owner, Supply Chain and Technology, S&P Global Mobility

● Tanya Davis, Cyber Security Data Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

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