5 Successful Black Entrepreneurs in the UK
Black Entrepreneurs, some of whom are of Nigerian descent, are taking advantage of the thriving and diverse business community in the UK. They are making significant contributions, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations.
These black business persons are creating an impact on the business world through tech startups, fashion, and retail empires. The beautiful thing about their impact is how it inspires several other black people to achieve success in a competitive market regardless of their skin colour.
In this article, we spotlight 5 black British trailblazers in business. Let’s get started:
Dr Tunde Okewale is a prominent businessperson, who sacrificed his chances of excelling academically in order to contribute towards his household. After graduating with a 2.2 from his undergraduate studies, Okewale engaged in numerous community work until he was invited by Greater London Authority, to deliver a workshop. His performance at the workshop opened the way for him as he received further invitations and received a meritorious scholarship to attend bar school. Going to bar school gave Okewale the chance to offset his undergraduate grades.
After bar school, he qualified as a barrister and went on to establish a charity organisation called Urban Lawyers in 2010. Urban Lawyers is a multimedia education and information centre that educates, engages and stimulates discussions among young people on criminal law, policing and personal responsibility.
Through Urban Lawyers, Okewale has helped a minimum of seven thousand students achieve and attain their career goals, and educated at least 10 thousand people on their legal rights. In 2019, Okewale was named the Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple, making him one of the youngest in its 650-year history.
Kike Oniwinde has always been a hard worker who secured 3 A grades at A Level and went further to study Economics at the University of Nottingham. She is a black British entrepreneur credited to have established the Black Young Professionals (BYP) network in 2016. She noted that growing up in a community where nobody saw the possibility of finding black dream-chasers to share insights with, was her driving motivation for launching BYP Network.
Furthermore, the BYP Network connects professionals and entrepreneurs with one another and with corporations. Having tens of thousands of members across the world, BYP also hosts networking events that attract major names such as Spotify. Kike is an ex-Great Britain javelin thrower, who left sports, to identify more success avenues in business. Also, Kike is an activist who uses her London-based app to promote equity in the professional sphere.
Yvonne Bajela is a noteworthy black British businesswoman. Known as the founder and principal at Impact X Capital Partners LLP, Bajela has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a deep understanding of the investment landscape. Impact X Capital Partners LLP is a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe.
Before founding Impact X, Bajela worked for Mitsui & Co. as an investment manager. At Mitsui, she championed over $200 million in company investments including TransferWise. She also made Forbes 30 under 30 List in 2020. Bajela is as well committed to supporting the advancement of women and other underrepresented groups in business.
Sharmardean Reid barged a first-class degree in communication from Central St Martins. After school, she worked as a brand consultant and fashion stylist for Nikem Asos and Arena Homme. In 2006, she established WAH as a hip-hop magazine for girls and went ahead to establish WAH Nails salon in 2009. Her nail salon boasts of strategic partnerships with Marc Jacobs, Nike and British Airways in ten years (2009-2019).
In 2018, Sharmadean founded Beautystack with Dan Woodbury and Ken Lalobo. This platform made her one of the first Black women in the UK to raise venture capital funding. Beautystack combines visual menus and social network mechanics to book beauty and wellness treatments.
Prioritising the women and the community has always been at the heart of Sharmadean’s work. To corroborate her passion, she launched The Stack World in March 2021 to empower women to find, create and grow their businesses and brands. The platform has greatly provided knowledge, network and resources for Gen-Z women.
Gary Stewart who graduated from Yale College launched his first start-up in 2005. The start-up was a property search engine that raised $4m before it was acquired by a publicly listed company. He has held various positions including, executive editor of The Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School, Associate professor of IE Business School in Madrid and the CEO of Wayra Spain.
He is the CEO and co-founder of The Nest, a mobile app that can be called a “Masterclass for founders.” The app, which is a community that provides entrepreneurial education and access to funding to a large audience, raised more than $1m prior to launching. Stewart currently serves as the governor of the University of East London and sits on the board of advisors of One Tech.
Tinubu’s APC Tells Rhodes-Vivour To Stop Grandstanding
The Lagos chapter of Bola Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Labour Par…