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09:50 – 09:55

Welcome -Raphael Sofoluke, Founder and CEO, UK Black Business Show & Week & Birmingham Black Business Show

Raphael Sofoluke

10:00 – 10:05

Tru Powell - Entrepreneur, Personal Branding coach & Publicity expert
(Chair of Birmingham Black Business Show advisory committee)

10:10 – 10:25

Opening Keynote: The Power of NOW

10:25 – 11:25

Funding Your Future

This panel session will explore the business growth journey and how you can access the funding you need to achieve your goals. HSBC UK will be joined on stage by two ambitious business owners to share their experiences and insights on managing your finances as your business grows. The session will be facilitated by broadcaster and journalist Juliette Foster.

The session will cover important topics for every business owner;

  • Why you need a robust business plan
  • The importance of setting targets and measuring progress
  • Identifying and addressing gaps in your cash and trade cycle
  • The information you need to provide when applying for funding
  • Understanding your funding options and how they expand as your business matures
  • The importance of your network and wider support
  • Why all businesses need to have sustainability on their radar
Sponsored by


11:30 – 12:15

The Launchpad

Hear fresh and innovative Black-owned businesses present to investors, buyers and top-level executives.

Presenting Companies 

Viaduct Generation

Pitch Judges

Amanda Dorel
Kevin Withane
Sponsored by

Lloyds Bank Logo

12:15 – 13:15

Lunch Networking Break


Business Showers

Join us as we celebrate a selection of new businesses launching in the Birmingham area. 

Presenting Organisations

With Love Monde

Black Women of Birmingham

Campbell & Alleyne

Kalypso Cafe

Silk Bee Balms

Host Nathan Dennis

13:50 – 14:30

Black at Work Panel

In this session we hear from senior leaders that have climbed the corporate ladder whilst holding true to their authentic selves.

We’ll hear stories of employee activism, finding opportunities for leadership, strategies for overcoming the challenges faced and a roadmap for leaders of tomorrow.



Building Your Personal Brand for Business Success

In this exciting talk Tru will take you through the essential key elements in order to build your brand for business success.

Tru will reflect on his own experiences offering essential tips to get you visible.

15:40– 15:55

It Always Seems to be Impossible Until it’s Done (Finance)

In this exciting talk, Emmanuel will be sharing his journey from growing up in a council estate, to working at one of the biggest banks in the world to running his own business. 

He will also be sharing his top personal finance, business and levelling up tips.

Emmanuel Asuquo, CEO, The Eman Effect 

16:00- 16:40

The Business Behind Black Hair and Beauty


16:45– 17:45

Natives by Akala - Closing Keynote and Q&A



10:30 – 11:15

Made in the UK, Sold to the World

Whether you’re interested in exporting for the first time, or an experienced exporter, support from the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) can help your business to grow in new markets.

Join this interactive workshop to explore the benefits of exporting and learn how DIT can support your business to grow with our free Export Academy programme.

You will also hear from a local Export Champion who will give an overview of their journey of global growth plus their top tips! To round up the session we will host a Q&A session which will give you the chance to pitch your questions to Chris and the local exporting business.

Presented by Department of International Trade

Department of International Trade Logo

11:25 – 12:00

The Trailblazers

Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs, those at the nascent stages of building a business, or seasoned leaders – this panel discussion is not to be missed.

We will deepdive on the experiences of three trailblazing Black entrepreneurs in the UK. The panellists will discuss their leadership journeys, any challenges they have faced and how they overcame them, as well as advice for those in the audience.

Byron and Amber are both alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, and will be able to answer any questions about their experience.

Moderator: Don Mclaverty, Director of Venture Logic
Sponsored by 

12:10 - 13:10

Lunch & Learn Roundtables

Lunch & Learn Roundtables (Networking Lounge)

Spaces limited to 10 per table

  1. Cultivating Wellbeing in the Black Business Community
    Lee Chambers, Essentialise & Marvyn Harrison, Dope Black Dads
  2. Making the Perfect Pitch
    Charnel Conway, ABAble & Kevin Withane, Diversity X
  3. Black Women in Leadership
    Rebekah Taitt, Lloyds Bank
  4. How to Get More Attention and Customers for Your Business
    Dwain Reid, Wealth First  
  5. Turning Storytelling into a Journalism Career
    Jonelle Awomoyi, Broadcast Journalist, BBC News Channel & One

13:20 – 13:50

The Black Tech Entrepreneur

Digital skills are now essential in all aspects of our economy, while Birmingham’s ambition to become a leading smart city means businesses of all shapes and sizes need to be tech literate.

This panel discussion will feature four successful tech entrepreneurs and commentators who are focused on promoting the huge potential of digital across the Midlands. 

The four panellists will talk about the importance of mentoring and partnerships with large corporates and experienced operators to help grow their profile and market presence. They’ll also discuss the challenges they face, and still face, in gaining market traction and how they’ve addressed them.

Issues to be discussed will include;

  • Promoting inclusivity in tech skills
  • Highlighting the entrepreneurial opportunities around digital tech
  • Being ‘smart city’ ready
  • The challenges of gaining market traction and addressing them
  • The importance of role models and mentors
  • How big corporates are helping
Moderator: Ian Griffin, Midlands Business Insider

14:00 – 14:45

The Edge of Potential

An interactive workshop to explore hallmarks of success across the following themes:

Super You: Identifying your superpowers and the value your difference brings to your business or organisation

Embracing Failure: reframing failure as the path towards greatness

Springboard: the support structures and systems needed to succeed personally/professionally.


Sponsored by

14:55 – 15:40

Growing your Business Sustainably

This interactive workshop session will explore the importance of embracing sustainability.

Broadcaster and journalist Juliette Foster will be joined by HSBC’s Head of Sustainable Finance, Robert King, and UK Deputy Head of Small Business Banking, Jenni Adams, to discuss how transitioning to net zero can lead to opportunities and business growth while also making your business more resilient. It will also touch on the tools, resources and funding available to accelerate your business’ transition. The session will include table discussions providing an opportunity to share and hear from peers.

The workshop will cover topics including:

  • Why building a sustainable business is critical for SMEs
  • Reacting to changing customer demands
  • How sustainability can create financial benefits and a more resilient business
  • What you need to know to measure sustainability
  • How having a long-term outlook helps rebuild a more sustainable economy
Georgette & Sophinne Aikins-Sancho
Sponsored by


15:50– 16:35

Unlocking Success Within Your Career

Need guidance on making your career a success? Join a discussion with Goldman Sachs!

Darren, Toto & Timi will provide insights on their individual career journeys, how they’ve overcome blockers, the importance of sponsors and how to own your career.

There will be plenty of time for questions throughout, what will hopefully be, a lively discussion.

Sponsored by