HSBC & UK Black Business Show:
Meet 25 Top Black Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2022

Following on from the success of the 2021 UK Black Business Show x HSBC UK 25 Black entrepreneurs to watch list, we are excited to give you another list filled with talented Black entrepreneurs making waves in the UK.

As a society we cannot be resigned to the disparities that exist within the UK. Championing Black entrepreneurs and amplifying the voices will go a huge way in levelling the playing field and this must be done beyond Black History Month and throughout the year.

It all starts with visibility! Our belief is that for any business to succeed visibility is huge, we can only support Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs if we know about them, so we hope that providing a list of some of the most exciting Black entrepreneurs in the UK will help others recognise and support them on their journey to greatness.

The annual UK Black Business Show, now in its 6th year takes place during Black History Month and was created to inspire and connect Black business owners and professionals in various industries with the sole purpose of supporting Black entrepreneurs and professionals who are underrepresented in business.

The show is now one of many events during  UK Black Business Week; the first dedicated week in the UK for Black entrepreneurs, professionals and allies of the Black community

Founder and CEO of the Show & Week, Raphael Sofoluke spoke on the importance of championing Black entrepreneurs and the need to highlight Black role models. He says…

“For the second year running we are excited to spotlight 25 Black entrepreneurs alongside our partner HSBC UK. These entrepreneurs are truly remarkable and despite the setbacks the pandemic has caused to business they have shown huge resilience. They deserve to be celebrated and highlighted for all they have achieved”

Founder and CEO of the Show & Week, Raphael Sofoluke

Peter McIntyre, Head of Small Business Banking for HSBC UK, said:

“We’re delighted to celebrate the achievements of these 25 Black entrepreneurs. At HSBC UK we are passionate about connecting businesses to opportunities and the second annual list of Black Entrepreneurs to Watch ensures Black leaders are championed and supported to fulfil their full potential.”

Peter McIntyre, Head of Small Business Banking for HSBC UK

Top 25 Black Entrepreneurs to Watch 2022:

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Abubakar Salim

Actor, CEO & Founder of Surgent Studios
Abubakar Salim is BAFTA nominated actor, producer and entrepreneur. Having recently worked with prestigious director Ridley Scott in both the film and television space, Salim has gained a prolific name in the games space too, playing lead roles within the Assassins Creed and World Of Warcraft franchises. He is the CEO and Founder of Surgent Studios – a media company that harnesses screen, games and digital platforms to deliver experiences that empower both creatives and audiences alike.

In under a year, Salim’s game company Silver Rain Games secured the highly sought Electronic Arts Original deal, providing them funding for their first game and the full force of EA marketing. Simultaneously, he founded the award-winning production and financing company Surgent Productions where he recently collaborated with auteurs such as Letitia Wright and Serephina Beh in bringing their content to life. Surgent Productions currently have their first feature film in pre-production.

@abzysalim

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Andy Ayim MBE

Director at The Angel Investing School
Andy Ayim MBE is a father, husband, creator, thinker, investor and founder of The Angel Investing School, with a vision to empower a new generation of angel investors. His career has seen him move from consulting VCs in San Francisco to democratising access for diverse founders in the UK. Andy was recognised in 2021 with a Queen’s honours MBE medal in recognition for his contribution to diversity and technology in the UK.

@andy_ayim

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Andy Davis

Partner at 10×10 Capital
Andy Davis is a Partner at 10×10 Capital – a pre-seed fund investing in Black founders in Europe, and the Founder of 10×10, Europe’s group of Black founders and VCs. He released the industry-shifting The Black Report, the first qualitative report on Black founders.

Andy was previously an Angel Investor at Atomico – Europe’s largest seed fund, Director at Backstage Capital London – the first diversity-focused venture capital fund, and Investor in Residence at Google for Startups – for their Black founders programme.
He hosts weekly lunchtime hangouts for Black founders where he advises them on fundraising, building products, hiring, and customers.
Davis is spearheading efforts to make European investing more diverse and inclusive by creating access to deals, and providing financial and strategic support to Black founders.

Business Insider recently recognised him in their 100 People Transforming Business in Europe.
Andy has invested in market-leading companies such as AudioMob, Trim.It, and Sojo.

@mrandydavis

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Atinuke Awe

Founder of Mums and Tea and Learning with EZ
Tinuke is a mother of two children aged 4 and 2. She is the founder of Learning with Ez – specialising in diverse educational resources for children as well as Mums & Tea – a social platform aimed at connecting Black mums together. She is also the co founder of Five X More CIC – an organisation campaigning for Black maternal health outcomes in the UK.

All in all, Black motherhood/ parenthood is important to Tinuke and creating spaces and resources to help with the advancement of the community means everything to her.

Tinuke was named as a ‘Force for Change’ by British Vogue in 2021, a ‘Woman changing the World’ by the Evening Standard for International Women’s Days in 2022 and has been featured in a number of newspapers and channels speaking on subjects such as diversity and inclusion, autism and Black maternal health.

@mumsandtea

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Ben Anderson

Co-founder of Musicalize

Ben is the co-founder of concert and live events promotions company ‘Musicalize’. Started in 2011 as a live music showcase event for unsigned artists, Musicalize has grown considerably as an independent promotions company having worked with some of the biggest names in music including Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and many more with Musicalize now producing concerts, club nights, parties and private events events in the UK, Europe and USA with plans to expand to the UAE in 2023.

Ben is also a dad to 5 children with his wife Sophie, and over the past 4 years he has built another business off the back of his Instagram page ‘The Diary of a Dad’. He now works with a huge number of globally recognised brands on social media campaigns and has also recently started a podcast focusing on all things fatherhood. Ben was recently awarded the People’s Choice ‘Father of the Year’ Award at the 2022 Fatherhood Awards.

@thediaryofadad 

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Bejay Mulenga

CEO of Supa Network Entrepreneur & Digital Creator
Multidisciplinary creative entrepreneur with over a decade of experience across music, retail, commerce and education. Youngest award winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in the UK. CEO of Supa Network, a training provider and creative network delivering educational programming and activations for clients all over the UK and beyond. Trained over 20,000 individuals in the past 5 years. We’ve worked with the likes of Uber, Nike, Google, Apple, Cabinet Office and various others.
Advisory Board member for BRiM. Advisory Board member for Tackling Loneliness Network for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

@bejaymulenga

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Gina Nipah

Founder of Hapin Beauty Lounge and Hapin’s Daddy Hair care & Plus size Model
Gina Nipah is a London based business owner and plus size model of Ghanaian descent, Founder of Hapin Beauty Lounge and Hapin’s Daddy Hair care. Gina is known within her industry for creating spaces for cross collaboration and co-learning through work experience and training.

Hapin hair lounge is a safe space with a range of beauty treatment offerings aimed at making their clientele look and feel like the best versions of themselves. Determined to make a mark within the beauty industry Gina Nipah continues to create concepts that make the beauty industry more inclusive and accessible for all.

@ginanipah

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Joel Beya

Founder of Cheeky Sport & Head Of FIVE Content/Presenter
Joel Beya has been in the sports digital industry for 8 years, starting off as a Youtuber for the company he founded named Cheeky Sport. Joel developed his digital presenting skills which now see him content creator as a multi brand ambassador, working alongside brands globally. You can catch Joel producing independent work and also on the ‘Rio Ferdinand presenters FIVE’ media platform.

@joelbeya1

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Juls

Music Producer / DJ and Founder of Process Africa / LOF Collective
An award winning Music Producer and DJ having worked with the likes of Wizkid, Burna Boy and many more. A Radio Presenter on Kiss FM radio and Also the Founder of Process Africa; an annual workshop the caters to the needs of young aspiring producers teaching them about the music business and help build the skill set and creativity.

@julsbaby_

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Just Geen

Online Coach & Personal Trainer
Fitness creator and qualified personal trainer, Gina, more known as Just Geen became inspired by health and fitness as a result of a challenging period of time in life with fitness fast becoming Gina’s therapy, best form of stress relief, and mental wellbeing. Gina has since gone on to build a community supporting thousands of women in the UK and internationally to become the best version of themselves and reach their body goals.

@just_geen

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Ken Okoroafor

Founder and CEO, The Humble Penny

Ken Okoroafor is the Founder and CEO of The Humble Penny and Financial Joy Academy, Personal Finance brands with the core mission of helping millions of families to create Financial Joy in their lives.

Together with his wife (Mary), they also run a popular blog and YouTube Channel with over 60,000 Subscribers over at The Humble Penny. Their work has helped over 3 million people to improve their relationship with money.

He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge. He has over 14 years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer in the Investment Business in London having developed his career in Asset Management and Venture Capital.

His work has been featured across the BBC, ITV, Financial Times, British Vogue, The Sunday Times, iNews, Metro, Channel 5, The Guardian, etc.

@thehumblepenny

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Mandy Nyarko MBE

Co founder of Startup Discovery School
Mandy Nyarko MBE is and investor in climate change solutions and impact startups and co founder of innovation consultancy Startup Discovery School who have designed incubators, accelerators and open innovation programmes for public and private organisations in the U.K. and Africa who are focused on building startups addressing environmental and social sustainability issues. She is also an advisor on the SME action board to the UK Department of Business energy and industrial strategy.

@mandy_nyarko

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Mercedes F Benson

DJ and Founder of SocialFIXT
With over 8 years experience working within the entertainment industry, London based DJ, Partnerships Manager and now social entrepreneur, Mercedes Benson, has found herself on a social mission to solve the creative industries lack of black representation.
In 2017, Mercedes Benson launched SocialFixt – a recruitment and job-board platform aiming to connect black talent to career opportunities within the creative industry. Since then, it has grown into a burgeoning online community with a combined reach of 20,000, with resources ranging from CV workshops to mentorship and online/IRL events on employability. Partners so far include Google, YouTube Music & Nike Jordan .
The aim for SocialFIXT is to grow a more diverse and fair representation of black talent within the workplace. Not just entry level, but every level.

@mercedesfbenson

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Mr Midas

Video game TV Host and Content Producer
Mr Midas is a producer and TV presenter, specialising within the video game and e-sports industry. Midas has hosted on Twitch Rivals, he has also co-presented on From The Jump (GINX Esports TV in collaboration with RedBull) alongside Twitch Streamer, Cyborg Angel. Midas is also known for hosting and creating, GRM Daily show, Games, Gadgets and Rhymes.

Midas has worked with some leading gaming titles and events such as E3 gaming expo in LA, Insomnia 64 for Fnatic and Quai54 in Paris. Midas works hard to make the gaming industry a more diverse and represented space and his work lead him to present at the 2018 BAFTA Games Awards, he is now a BAFTA Games Member.

Midas’s production credits include a diverse range of brands and include collaborations with the likes of Universal Records, Gamescom, Elgato, EA sports, Nintendo, Activision, Funimation and Square Enix.

@MrMidasGames

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Rachael Twumasi-Corson

CEO of Afrocenchix

At 19 Rachael co-founded Afrocenchix, an award-winning ethical startup that creates safe, effective, vegan certified products for Afro & curly hair. After graduating with a Law degree from the University of Birmingham, Rachael studied at the Institute of Trichologists, then graduated from UCL with an MSc in Medical Anthropology (with a dissertation completed at the University of Cambridge Medical School). 

She’s spoken at hundreds of community organisations, schools and universities, as well as global organisations including: Google; Facebook; UCL; Brunel; the University of Birmingham;and Jamelia’s Table; and appeared on London Live & the BBC. Rachael lives in London with her teacher husband and two young children. When she’s not leading the team at Afrocenchix, Rachael plays the guitar, runs, bakes and writes SFF, she also writes for Mensa magazine and is on the board of BWG C.I.C.

@raecorson

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Remel London

Broadcaster, Host & Founder of The Mainstream

Passionate, driven and at the very forefront of innovation within entertainment, Remel London is currently one of the most exciting breakout names in British broadcasting. Already the face of SKY One’s What’s Up TV and host of her radio show on CAPITAL XTRA, Remel is also the founder of much celebrated creative platform The Mainstream which provides key networking opportunities, live events, workshops/seminars and podcasts to support exceptional diverse talent in developing their career in the mainstream media space. 

A defining voice within the culture, she’s played key roles in the development of the iconic music platform Link Up TV, working as lead presenter and producer to win partnerships with Footasylum and Boiler Room TV as well as being weekly host of London’s top live music event ILUVLIVE.

@remel_london

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Ruby-Jade Aryiku

Co-founder of VAMP

Ruby-Jade Aryiku is the co-founder and Head of PR of VAMP, an Entertainment PR and Digital Talent Agency, created by 3 black women, dedicated to ensuring that the black British culture is authentically reached across the beauty, lifestyle and entertainment industries. Clients include Warner Bros., PLT, Disney, Universal Music and more.

VAMP was founded in 2017, a year after the founders graduated from University. Now in its 5th year, VAMP are proud to have worked on campaigns for the likes of Black Panther, Just Mercy, Noughts & Crosses, Judas and the Black Messiah, solidifying their position as the go-to agency for successful Publicity campaigns for films with a diverse cast.

VAMP have also developed a strong digital talent network, featuring some of the biggest black influencers in the UK. With over 100 influencers now a part of the agency, VAMP are the biggest black talent agency in the country.

@rubyjadex

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Samuel Williams

Founder of Las Olas

Sam was born and raised in East London. He attended St Bonaventure’s secondary school which boasts a host of impressive alumni in music, sport, politics and more. This always inspired him to dream big. He quit his job as an electrical engineer in 2018 after deciding to take the leap pursuing the entrepreneurial drive that he has always had. He then launched Las Olas. 

Las Olas is an ultra-premium spiced rum brand with a vision to redefine luxury. It was born out of a belief that the new generation of consumers expect more from food and drinks brands and the experience they give access to; yet they remain underserved by the current spirits offering. Sam is drawing from the world of luxury street fashion and aims to adopt a similar brand building approach by creating an aspirational yet inclusive and community-led brand. Partnerships and sponsorships have included a range of brands and companies such as: Warner Brothers, Jordan and LA Lakers.

@lasolas.uk

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Sophia Thakur

Award-winning, Best-selling Author and Performance Poet

Sophia Thakur is an award-winning, best-selling author and performance poet. Sophia is the Youth Creator and Educator Ambassador for Jordan’s Jumpman23 women’s squad and will be working on a series of activities throughout the year to empower communities. She has most recently been announced as one of the Forbes under 30 for Arts and Culture within Europe for 2022. 

Sophia’s powerful messages on mental health, diversity, politics, self-expression, empowerment, women and wellbeing has led to participation at events organised by Google, Accenture, Nike, The Guardian, The Royal Family, Channel 4, BBC, Viacom and the Liberal Democrat and Labour party. Many of whom she has continued to work with. Sophia has sold out three groundbreaking headline shows across the world, including her book launch at the Jazz Cafe in London. 

Sophia was recently the headline act for the New Voices show with a powerful performance at Union Chapel in London, December (2021).

@sophiathakur

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Stephen Asamoah-Duah

Musician and Entrepreneur
A passionate musician and entrepreneur, Stephen is a young man who found his path in life early on. From the tender age of 3, he was playing drums with pots and pans as a replica drum set, and grew to earn the opportunity to play at church. As the years went by, he began to gain a name amongst a lot of musicians and worked with various artists. In 2013, he joined his now band The Compozers, and they have gone on to tour the world as an individual act, as well as some of the biggest A-list artists. 

His interests also stretched widely into the area of business. In 2017, as a spin-off of music, he formed Future Music Services, and later on Asamoah Property Group in 2020.

@drummerboysj

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Tayo Oguntonade

TV Presenter & Founder of BrickzWithTipz
BrickzWithTipz is a digital platform that empowers and inspires people to buy their first home and/or make further investments in property. We use various channels such as online digital content, coaching & events to create a comfortable environment where people can pick up valuable skills & knowledge.

@brickzwithtipz

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Tru Powell

Award Winning Entrepreneur & Personal Branding Strategist

Tru is a multi-award winning creative entrepreneur, personal brand strategist and publicity coach. Tru has over 15 years in enterprise, the arts and events and is very passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, business leaders and CEO’s build their personal brands and get visible.

Tru is the Founder of Tru Powell Consultancy & Events Ltd, Director of Aston Performing Arts Academy a community organisation that empowers young people through creative arts, Kandy Girl kids brand and MBCC Awards. Tru is also Founder of the award winning podcast, Creative Entrepreneurs Podcast and sits on multiple boards in the Midlands including Birmingham Hippodrome, West Midlands Tourism Board, TAG and Powered by CAN. When Tru is not busy with his businesses, he’s spending time with his family or in the gym.

@tru_powell

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Vanessa Vanderpuye

Actress and Model

Vanessa Vanderpuye is an Actress and Model best known for her role as Arjana in Sky TV drama Bulletproof. She has also modelled for leading brands like Max Factor, Colgate, L’Oréal and Pantene to name a few.

Vanessa is very passionate about her roots which has led her to fight for equality within the creative industry, in front and behind the screens. Her continued advocacy to wearing her natural hair/ hairstyles continues to propel her career to new heights

@vvbrownskin

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

William Adoasi

Founder & CEO of Vitae London
William Adoasi is a British-Ghanaian entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, philanthropist and fashion designer who is the founder and CEO of the innovative watch brand Vitae London. He has been featured as one of Forbes’ 25 Leading Black British Business People To Follow, mentored by billionaire business magnate Richard Branson and was selected as a 2016 Virgin StartUp ambassador. His watches have been sold in over 30 countries and have transformed many lives by providing over 5,000 educational resources to underprivileged children across Sub-Saharan Africa with each purchase. In addition to Vitae London, William has three other successful business ventures in the Media, Music and Corporate Consultancy industries.

@williamadoasi

Picture courtesy of A&O Studios

Yomi Adegoke

Journalist and Author
Yomi Adegoke is a multi award-winning journalist and author. She is currently a columnist at The Guardian and British Vogue and is the former host of the Women’s Fiction Prize podcast. In 2018, she co-wrote the bestselling book Slay In Your Lane and the same year was named one of the most influential people in London by the Evening Standard. She also was awarded the Groucho Maverick and Marie Clare Future Shaper awards. In 2021, she was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and after a fierce 11 way auction, she is publishing her debut novel ‘The List’ with 4th estate books in 2023.

@yomi.adegoke