Updated: Jun 23
Birmingham Black Business Show 2023 smashes the status quo with 60% entrepreneurial women panelists.
I left the Birmingham Black Business Show 2023 at the NEC with the realisation that of the many business events I’ve attended in the passed 9 months, none of them had panels of CEOs, Founders, corporate businesses experts and entrepreneurs who were predominantly….…………….women.
What's the evidence?
I like a bit of supporting data, so when I got home I undertook a highly detailed analytical process of pulling out all the brochures I have collected from previous events, applying gender stereotypes to the photos and creating a tally chart of panellists that looked like either women or men. Here are the results:
Grow Your International Trade in Services Roadshow 2022: 21% women panellists
The Business Show London 2022, Europe’s Biggest Business Event: 26% women panelists
Birmingham Black Business Show 2023: 60% women panelists.
How do women entrepreneurs add value to the UK GDP?
In the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship by Natwest group, all-female-led companies represented 20% of all businesses in the UK in 2022 and the review has identified a £250 billion value to the UK economy. Furthermore, according to a recent report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority at Aston University (CRÈME), Black-led businesses contribute as much as £25 billion to the UK economy (links at bottom of blog). Which has lead me to ponder the question why, when the UKs economy is trapped in a growth “doom loop” (LinkedIn), more business shows and events don’t strive to grab a piece of the ‘we helped to raise the UK GDP’ pie by emulating the same diversity on their panels as the Birmingham Black Business Show? Who doesn't want that kind of positive PR? Puzzled shrug emoji.
I can not emphasise enough how empowering a 60% women entrepreneur panel feels to a female founder. There were multiple ideas for self motivation, overcoming failure, facing fears, excelling in corporate environments, different tried and tested approaches for work/life balance, using ai, marketing and multiple income streams and investment. There were numerous approaches for navigating that tricky CEO/parenting/caring responsibilities balance. All different, all tried and tested, all supported by evidence and all received with curiosity and without judgment.
Girls in STEM
What drew me to the @ukbbshow 2023?
I am passionate about training the next generation of business professionals from interns to C Suit to deliver in the moment and perform under pressure. I attended the Birmingham Black Business Show 2023 to learn lived experiences of what that pressure can look like for different business people, so I can share this knowledge with mentees that don’t look like me. I didn’t expect to be attending a status quo breaking now award winning event. I left feeling more hopeful for our striving young professionals than I have since 2016.
Scroll down to positively procrastinate through Birmingham Black Business Show 2023's motivational soundbites:
Daniella Genas: Founder, Be the Boss International.
“Excellence isn’t the same a perfection”
“Your vision should be so big it scares you. If it’s not, go back and do it again”
Delight Mapasure: Co Founder, K’s Wors LTD
“Time is the most important commodity. When it’s gone, it’s gone.”
“Fear nothing. Fear no one.”
“It doesn’t matter how you fall, it matters how you get up and keep going.”
Atinuke Awe: Founder, Learning with Ez
"Know your why for your business. Why do this? what’s your passion for doing this?”
‘Don’t stay down for long. Know your why and remember this is why I’m doing this”
Carlton Cummings: Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Aceleron
“Focus is not single mindedness”
“Every opinion is important but not every opinion is viable to you”
“Feel compelled, excited and curious. Feel that it is important. If you don’t feel it, you won’t have the drive to do it”
Black Women navigating corporate success.
Jo Chileshe. Corporate Communications Senior Manager.
"Ask for what you want. If you do’t advocate for yourself who else will?”
“If you’re not with people who look like you, play the game but be true to your values”
Kishma Bolaji Medical negligence specialist solicitor and senior associate at CL Medilaw.
“Be prepared, be equipped for opportunities and put yourself forward.”
Denise Morris Co-founder and CEO, TAG Network
“Find a firm where you can see yourself grow”
“Always send the lift back down.”
Bolai: Find your tribe.
Chileshe: Build your support network.
Morris: Build as many as possible
All: And put yourself forward.
Key lessons from building a social enterprise.
Marvyn Harrison, Founder, CEO of Dope Black Dads
“Build a company on an idea and a deep emotion”
Maureen Lewis Chief Officer, Walsall Black Sisters
“Diversify your income stream so that you’re not relying on funding”
Matthew Gordon CEO Spectra
“Know your whys”
“Know your people. Know when you’re not that good at something and delegate”
Aderonke Apata Founder, CEO, African Rainbow Family
“Remember why do you want to plan for succession and start it”.
Lloyds Bank Group
Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship