Women in Business Making HERstory

It’s #BlackHistoryMonth and as a nation we have been celebrating the work, life and achievements of people in Africa, the Caribbean and Diaspora.   Entrepreneurs tend to be overlooked during this time of year. However, black women throughout history have been founding businesses and transforming industries and lives. Apart from Madam CJ Walker and Oprah Winfrey we know very little of Black British women entrepreneurs whose bold moves have made or are making history or should I say HERstory.  So, here are four inspirational stories of Black British women in business:  

STEM/TECH: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder of Stemettes

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon is a prodigy in every sense of the word. Aged 11, she was the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing, and was just 20 years old when she received her Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford. Since then, she has forged an enviable CV, including positions at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard and Deutsche Bank. Then there are the Honorary Doctorates from Open University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Kent University & Bristol University and an Honorary Fellowship at Keble College, Oxford.

It is this wealth of experience and pioneering spirit that led her to co-found STEMettes, an award-winning social initiative dedicated to inspiring and promoting the next generation of diverse young women in the STEM sectors.

FINANCE: Yvonne Bejela, Founder of Impact X Capital partners

Yvonne Bajela is a founder and principal of a UK-based venture capital firm that invests in companies led by underrepresented founders at the seed and Series A stages.

She set up her company in 2019 and has invested more than $200m in various startups across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She recently won Funder of the Year at the Women of the Year Awards in 2022. Although she will keep her role at Impact X Capital, she will be joining Local Globe VC and Latitude VC as a partner.


MUSIC: Kanya King, Founder of the MOBO Awards

Kanya King is the chief executive and founder of the MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin).

She was inspired to launch the MOBOs after realising there was a “glaring gap” in the market for a mainstream British ceremony celebrating music influenced and inspired by black artists.

The MOBOs launched in 1996, with Kanya re-mortgaging her house after being unable to find a financial backer. She also struck a deal with Carlton TV (the London television franchise) to broadcast the event.

Today, the MOBOs is a year-round, agenda-setting brand, with the annual awards broadcast on mainstream television. In 2020, the ceremony was shown on the BBC.


PROPERTY: Ayesha Ofori, Founder of the Black Property Network

Ayesha Ofori is a multi-award-winning investment manager, wealth adviser and property specialist.  She is the managing director of Axion Property Partners and founder of the Black Property Network (BPN).

Ayesha set up the BPN to allow people in the black community to achieve financial and business goals through property investment.

Ayesha’s expertise empowers under-represented groups and high net worth individuals alike to develop entrepreneurial, business and finance skills, and gain financial independence through property investing.


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