Nominations open for 2021 Black British Business Awards

Eighth annual Black British Business Awards kicks-off the recognition of the outstanding achievements of black business leaders in the UK

Do you know of a Black British Business worthy of recognition for its outstanding contribution to society and or the communities it serves? Or a Black British entrepreneur who has defied the odds to launch and maintain a successful business in these unprecedented times?

For the eight-consecutive year, businesses and the public are being asked to shine a light on Black British professionals’ significant contributions to the UK economy by nominating them for the 2021 Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards).

This year’s digital awards ceremony in October will celebrate Black British professionals and entrepreneurs’ outstanding achievements and identify role models and mentors across several sectors.

Persistent disparities

A recent report by the British Business Bank found persistent disparities in business outcomes for Black British business owners.

Black business owners report a median turnover of £25,000 per annum after starting a business, more than a third less than White business owners (£35,000). Just 30% of Black entrepreneurs say they met their financial aims and only half (49%) achieved their non-financial goals.

These disparities persist despite Black entrepreneurs investing more time and money when developing their business ideas. Simultaneously, they also typically have a higher level of educational attainment than those from a White British background.

Interconnected and systemic factors explain the disparities. These include the differences in access to finance, social capital, deprivation and household income, and the under-representation of certain ethnic groups among managers, directors and officials in the workplace, which reduces the opportunity to develop business-relevant skills, knowledge and networks.

The Black British Business Awards has been a driving force promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace since its launch in 2014. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept across the globe in 2020, the fight against systemic racial injustice and equality took centre stage in society.

Spotlighting Black talent

By spotlighting Black talent, the BBBAwards keeps this vital conversation alive and ensures diversity remains at the forefront of business and debate. From managing partners to master tailors, commercial property entrepreneurs to creative producers, the BBBAwards champions talent in all sectors.

Melanie Eusebe, BBBAwards Co-founder, said: “Amidst the unprecedented challenges we have all faced during the past twelve months, we are delighted to once again open the nominations for the 2021 BBBAwards.

“Building on last year’s increased public consciousness of racial equality, we are proud and will continue to be the leading organisation platforming Black talent, addressing racial disparity in the workplace and providing companies’ strategic solutions to improve the career experiences and representation of minority ethnic professionals at senior levels”.

The Black British Business Awards

The six categories open for nomination for both rising stars and senior leaders include:

  • Arts and Media (includes media, design, fashion, performance art, publishing and advertising)
  • Consumer and Luxury (includes food, beverage, retail, travel, cosmetics and luxury goods)
  • Entrepreneur (business must have been operational for 18+ months before 12 April 2021)
  • Financial Services (includes banks, brokers, payment services, insurance and finance regulators)
  • Professional Services (includes law, accounting management consultancy)
  • STEM (includes health, industrial, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, construction, transport and energy)

Sophie Chandauka, BBBAwards Co-founder, said: “Reward and recognition are critical to the retention of the best and brightest. The BBBAwards is the most prestigious programme in the UK that shines a light on the very best of British talent in business from the Black community.

“We look forward to an avalanche of nominations in this seminal year because this is a community that has remained resilient and focused on contributing to the UK economy in the face of a pandemic, racial unrest and personal pain. This is our time to reward and recognise these unsung heroes”.

Nominations can be submitted here:

In addition to the awards themselves, the BBBAwards have contributed to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic talent advancement in the UK through a range of important initiatives. These include the Talent Accelerator, Executive Sponsor Roundtables, BAME in the Boardroom, Action Research, Employee Network Leaders Series, and School of Uncertainty, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The BBBAwards, in partnership with J.P. Morgan, has also released the second edition of their ‘The Middle’ research on the gross failings of businesses to collectively address and act upon the racial disparity in the workplace. This edition offers actionable frameworks for organisations seeking to urgently address racism in the workplace and advance ethnic minority professionals.
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