The UK has thousands of influential black business owners, and here we have highlighted ten of the best. All of their journeys’ and experiences helped them to create successful business, and in some cases support networks for those less fortunate.
Izzy Obeng – Twitter @IzzyObeng.
A leading figure in the fight for representation in the digital technology sector, Izzy Obeng is taking steps in removing barriers for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. Founded Foundervine in 2018. Since then it has helped over 2,000 diverse future leaders create, test and sustain enterprises. By providing those who are rarely represented in the digital technology sector with training and sufficient investment, Izzy is ensuring their place in the business world continues to grow.
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE – Twitter @aimafidon.
Founder of Stemettes, a social enterprise that helps girls aged 5-22 pursue their dream careers in Science, Engineering, Maths and Technology Imafidon is helping to create a new generation of successful women. Named the most influential woman in the UK’s tech industry by Computer Weekly Magazine in 2020 Imafidon’s work is recognised by some of the largest institutions in the UK. No institution carries as much weight as the Royal Institution in the UK, who showed their support of Anne-Marie’s work in 2017 with an MBE. Even more astonishing Anne-Marie graduated from Oxford University at 20 years old with a Master’s degrees in both mathematics and computer science.
William Adoasi – Twitter @WilliamAdoasi.
Founder of Vitae London, a watch brand worn by Richard Branson and Ava DuVernay. William seeks to combine his business with the pursuit of social justice and equality. Each sale Vitae London makes sees children in Africa through school with two sets of school uniforms or equipment for solar powered energy. William grew up on a south London estate and had to take a leap of fate to establish himself. Thankfully, Richard Branson took him under his wing and would mentor him in the world of business.
Sharmadean Reid MBE – Twitter @sharmadeanreid.
Founder and CEO of Beautystack, Reid has revolutionised the beauty industry. She created a booking app that highlights the importance of the social aspect of beauty. Reid also founded world renowned WAH Nails in 2009 and organises business events for young female entrepreneurs with FutureGirlCorp. For her work in the beauty services Reid was awarded an MBE in 2015.
Yvonne Bajela – Linkedin Yvonne Bajela.
Founding member of Impact X Capital. Impact X Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies and those who are underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Bajela is also a guest speaker at the University of London as well as an advisor for the Mayor of London’s Access to Finance program. Bajela was part of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2020.
Richard Serunjogi – Linkedin Rich Serunjogi.
CEO and founder of Business score, Serunjogi helps thousands of businesses connect with possible online funding options. Is working to ensure that funding for entrepreneurs is fair, fast and simple. Before creating Business Score Serunjogi was a youth MP for Croydon as well as a member of McKinsey.
Andy Ayim – Linked in Andyayim
Founder of Angel Investing School. Andy has helped thousands of young people with disposable income, learn how to invest successfully. Andy grew up in a British-Ghanian family, and has utilised his upbringing to help fight the lack of diversity in business investment. Looking to battle outdated conceptions of investment, Andy ensures that every cohort of his school has a 50% gender and ethnicity mix. Before founding Angel Investing School Andy was a product manager for World First and managing director for Backstage Capital.
Kike Oniwinde – Twitter @KikeOniwinde.
Co-Founder and CEO of BYP Network. BYP is a platform that connects thousands of black professionals to each other as well as corporations. BYP has over 30,000 members and works with the likes of Google, Facebook and Accenture. Kike is helping to establish a culture which does not exclude ethnic minorities, but instead amplifies their voices. She also appeared in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2019.
Bola Sol – Twitter @Bola_Sol.
Creator of Refined Currency, a company that provides information on making money, budgeting, saving money and debt. She is battling the fact that only 33% of women in the UK understand the world of investments. Bola also founded sister company Rich Girl Chronicles, a group that looks to empower women with their finances. Bola graduated from Essex University with a maths and finance degree.
Timothy Armoo – Twitter @TimArmoo.
CEO of Fanbytes, an influencer marketing agency that has won multiple awards and has bridged the gap between Gen Z and marketing. Armoo utilises TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube to connect possible Gen Z customers with brands like Nike and McDonald’s. Bloomberg described Fanbytes as a company ‘leading the charge for Gen and millennial marketing.’