Black Business Advisory Committee calls for community insight

16 March 2021

  • Chair, Claudine Reid MBE, appoints her full committee of influential business leaders from the Black community.
  • Committee calls on entrepreneurs and business people to take part in the Community Conversation event on 12 April 2021 to share experiences and insights to inform recommendations to address barriers to success.

In December 2020, Lloyds Banking Group announced that it had formed the Black Business Advisory Committee with leading businesswoman and former Cabinet Office advisor, Claudine Reid MBE at the helm. Since then Claudine and Lloyds Banking Group have recruited the full committee of outstanding figures in the Black business community.

All 12 members bring with them a diverse set of experience and expertise, which will equip them to investigate in detail the barriers to growth for the Black business community.

Lloyds Banking Group has also commissioned Black Business Network and Savanta to research the whole entrepreneurial journey for Black people; starting from early stage education through to mature businesses. The research will be ongoing over the next three years, and the findings of this will be used to inform Lloyds Banking Group’s future activities to support the growth of businesses owned and run by Black business leaders.

To supplement this research, The Black Business Advisory Committee is calling on the Black business community to take part in the Community Conversation virtual event on 12 April. Committee members will be sharing the highs and lows from their personal journey and speaking about why engagement is important in order to build stronger sustainable businesses. They will also be taking part in a live audience Q&A. You can register for the event here.

The first committee meeting was held on the 17 February 2021 at which the plans and ambitions for the committee’s work was discussed. The next is scheduled for May 2021 at which time the Committee will review the first findings from the quantitative phase of the research and begin to steer on recommended actions.

Claudine Reid MBE, Black Business Advisory Committee Chair, comments: “With a stellar line up of experts on board I’m certain we’ll be successful in our collective ambition to shed light on the needs of and barriers faced by the Black business community. Not only this, we’ll then be able to create a tangible set of recommendations for Lloyds Banking Group to implement and others to learn from about how the world of business can transform to become fully inclusive of the Black community.

“Today, I’m calling on fellow business people and aspiring entrepreneurs to come forward. We want to hear from you. Your insights will be truly invaluable in helping us develop our recommendations and make sure they really resonate with businesses up and down the country. Ultimately, we believe it will help our fellow Black business owners to have the best opportunity to start, grow and thrive.”

Lloyds Banking Group’s partnership with Foundervine is also launching their first Accelerator programme in April. The Lloyds Investment Readiness Programme will be a four-week course for Black entrepreneurs seeking investment to help scale their business. The programme will cover topics such as: understanding options when raising investment, what makes a successful investment proposal, gaining support and introductions to experienced investors, and opportunities to build and deliver a compelling pitch. Applications will open on 17 March.

Black Business Advisory Committee in detail (in alphabetical order)

  • Antonia Burrell: Owner of Antonia Burrell Holistic Skincare and selected as a top 100 industry influencer by Professional Beauty UK. A regular public speaker on topics relating to women in business.
  • Cecil Adjalo: Director at award-winning social enterprise, Foundervine, and oversees the Business Intelligence department at rapidly growing Danish Tech Scale-Up, Dixa. Listed by the Financial Times as one of the 100 most influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech.
  • Claudine Reid MBE (Chair): Award-winning Business Psychologist and Social Entrepreneur. Voted one of Britain’s top 100 women entrepreneurs by Real Business Magazine (2008) and listed by Keep the Faith magazine as one of Britain’s most influential Black women (2017 and 2019) as well as being listed as one of Britain’s top 100 most entrepreneurial women.
  • Evadney Campbell MBE: Award-winning lecturer, broadcast journalist, trainer and public relations consultant with over thirty years of experience in education, consultancy and media. Awarded an MBE by the Queen in 1995 for her dedication to charity work.
  • Imelda Fossu: Visionary entrepreneur, innovator and public speaker who, at just 25, is inspiring a new generation of change-makers to overcome their self-doubt and adopt a limitless mindset. Leads the The Fossu Group, an innovation factory turning concepts into reality today, while building the most impactful and inclusive companies of tomorrow.
  • Izzy Obeng: Founder and Managing Director of Foundervine, a social enterprise specialising in start-up and scale-up acceleration programmes. In 2019 was named by Tech Nation as one of the 50 most influential black voices in UK tech.
  • Khalia Ismain: Founder of Jamii, a discount and discovery platform for black-owned businesses. Passionate about reducing the barriers faced by Black British founders.
  • Margaret Ochieng: Organisational psychologist and founder of The Inclusive Village, an evidence-based consultancy that specialises in people, talent and culture solutions. Co-authored Fair to Refer (2019), a piece of UK-wide research for the General Medical Council investigating the disproportionate representation of minority ethnic doctors in fitness to practice processes and The Black Vanguard (2019) which investigated the experiences of the most senior Black leaders in UK organisations.
  • Michelle Raymond: HR Consultant, Visibility Strategist and award-winning International TEDx Speaker. Michelle and her team at The People’s Partner help businesses grow exponentially by transforming the skills of their people, developing peak performance and raising their visibility through consultation, coaching and training.
  • Nathaniel Peat: Multi-award winning entrepreneur. Listed on the 2017 Black Power List, EMPower Financial Times list (2017 and 2018) and 2016 Financial Times Upstanding 100 BME Executive List. Co-founder of Gennex Solar which provides innovative renewable energy products in Africa. Founder of The Safety Box, a company whose training and development programmes assist with reducing youth violence and helping young people develop important skills. Former Trustee and co-founder of EY Foundation since 2014 and now Patron to the charity.
  • Rodney Appiah: Former investment banker, NED and VC investor with nearly 15 years of financial services experience across UK and Europe. He is currently the Chairman of Cornerstone Partners, a leading UK angel network focused on seed stage investments to support black and diverse founders.
  • Shari Leigh: Founder of Black Business Network, a corporate event and media company, designed to strengthen business connections and knowledge in the Black community.