FOUR founders will walk away with £25,000 each as part of this evening’s KPMG Black Entrepreneurs’ Awards.
Held at the Big 4 giant’s Canary Wharf HQ, the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event will see twelve business owners face off in front of a live audience and judges to decide which business – founded and run by entrepreneurs from black heritage – will walk away with the sizable prize.
All the entrants will receive mentoring, advice and publicity through KPMG as part of the awards programme, which began in 2018.
Olu Odubajo, who began the awards five years ago after reverse-mentoring one of the firm’s senior bigwigs, said the event was about tackling the specific challenges of individuals starting businesses.
“Under 1 per cent of venture capital investment over the last ten years has gone to black founders,” Odubajo told City A.M.. “We wanted to play a part in changing the narrative.”
Founders on show tonight will include Grace Ubawuchi of Xin and Voltaire – which makes high end alcoholic sorbets – and Jonathan Bean from Material Nexus, which uses generative AI to discover new sustainable materials.
KPMG’s Karl Edge, who leads KPMG UK and MEA’s private enterprise work, said he was excited about the “breadth and depth of entrepreneurship” on show at the event.
“Encouraging and supporting businesses that represent all parts of our society is fundamental for the growth of the UK economy. We need innovation and entrepreneurial risk takers who make and shape new markets, finding the opportunity in the ever-increasing uncertainty,” he told City A.M.