04/11/2021 – Business / BBBAwards / Black / Awards / UK / Corporate

Winners announced at 2021 Black British Business Awards
Winners announced at 2021 Black British Business Awards

Edgar Chibaka and Jamal Tahlil – Co-Founders and Directors of First Response Group Ltd – have been announced as the Business Persons of the Year at the Black British Business Awards virtual ceremony held last week. 


Inspiring entrepreneurs who immigrated to the UK from East Africa in 2007, Mr Chibaka and Mr Tahlil built their security, fire and facility management solutions company from scratch. In July 2021, First Response Group Ltd reported revenue of over £25 million. 


In addition to the Black British Persons of the Year, ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Senior Leader’ winners were announced in six industry sectors. This year’s winners represent some of the UK’s top corporate leaders and creative disruptors excelling in their respective fields. “These professionals not only stand out as role models and substantial contributors to the UK economy but are also celebrated for their willingness to drive equitable change within their sectors and in society,” noted the Black British Business Awards organisers in a statement. 


Elevating stories of value creation and cultural impact 


The theme for the 2021 Awards was ‘#Amplify’. The last 18 months have brought into sharp focus the need to acknowledge and elevate stories about value creation and cultural impact emanating from the Black community in the UK. In a statement, the organisers said the BBBAwards would “continue to not only #Amplify Black professionals, but Black voices, careers, backgrounds and experiences across all sectors and sections of the UK.” 


Sophie Chandauka, Executive Founder and Chair of the Black British Business Awards enthused: “It is an honour to shine a spotlight on this year’s winners who are not only doing remarkable things in their own organisations but also in their personal lives. The ingenuity, resilience and commercial savviness of our rising stars is breathtaking. This year’s senior leaders epitomise the meaning of ‘role models’. They are leading significant commercial functions whilst acting as wise counsel for their investors, boards of directors and rising talent during the pandemic and period of social unrest. Congratulations again to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”


Cecil Peters, Head of Advancing Black Pathways in EMEA at J.P. Morgan, said his company was proud to sponsor the Awards. “We never fail to be moved and inspired by the stories that emerge during the ceremony,” he remarked. “The Awards shine a light on a remarkable group of people who are striving to innovate and drive meaningful change. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Edgar and Jamal of First Response Group Ltd, and all of this year’s finalists.”


Black influencers and allies


This year, the BBBAwards introduced two honorary awards. 


The Influencer of the Year Award celebrates a Black individual who has shaped public opinion on a topic that is significant to the perception, treatment, and legacy of Black people in Britain. This accolade was awarded to Marvyn Harrison, Founder of Dope Black Dads. 


Secondly, The Ally of the Year Award celebrates an individual who, despite not being Black, has been actively involved in the advancement of Black professionals and driving systemic changes that have differentiated outcomes for Black people within their organisation or sector. This award was given to Kate Priestman, Senior Vice-President at GSK.


The full rundown of award-winners


The BBBAwards ceremony distinguished outstanding business talent in six industry categories, which are divided into Rising Star and Senior Leader Awards. The full list of winners of the 2021 BBBAwards are as follows: 


• Black British Business Persons of the Year

Edgar Chibaka and Jamal Tahlil, Co-Founders and Directors, First Response Group Ltd


• Influencer of the Year

Marvyn Harrison, Founder, Dope Black Dads


• Ally of the Year

Kate Priestman, Senior Vice-President, R&D at GSK


• Arts & Media Rising Star 

Hannah Chukwu, Assistant Editor at Penguin Random House  


• Arts & Media Senior Leader 

Miya Knights, Global Content Strategist at Poq Commerce  


• Consumer & Luxury Rising Star 

Vese Aghoghovbia, Founder & Creator-in – Chief at Philly & Friends  


• Consumer & Luxury Senior Leader 

Alexandria Dauley, Creative Director at Dauley Designs  


• Entrepreneur Rising Star

Alessandra Madubunyi, Director at WE are COCO  


• Entrepreneur Senior Leader 

Michael Khouri-Bent, Managing Director at Metropolitan Care Solutions  


• Financial Services Rising Star 

Jordon Clarke, GCM/Syndicate Global Ops Project Lead at Morgan Stanley   


• Financial Services Senior Leader 

Lara Oyesanya, Group General Counsel at WorldRemit 


• Professional Services Rising Star 

Samuel Lawrence, Vice-President EMEA, Mid-Market for JLL Technologies


• Professional Services Senior Leader 

Akima Paul-Lambert, Litigation Partner at Hogan Lovells  


• STEM Rising Star

Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, Founder and CEO at Definely  


• STEM Senior Leader 

Gareth Dauley, Executive Vice President at Pacific Green Technologies


A powerful change agent for BAME talent advancement


Established in 2014 – and endorsed by three Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London, and an array of global business leaders – the BBBAwards has emerged as a powerful change agent for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent advancement in the UK


Once again, J.P. Morgan was the Key Partner of the Awards. Other sponsors include Barclays, Baker McKenzie, Cisco, The Economist Group, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Tranzfar, Wellington Management.  Wells Fargo were the Judging Day sponsor, and The Daily Telegraph was the national media partner for this year’s BBBAwards for the fifth year running.

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