Foluke Akinlose is the founder of Precious Online, the leading magazine and network for women of colour.
Before launching Precious in 1999, Foluke worked as a journalist and editor, across print and new media for companies such as ITN New Media and Moreover.com, a Reuters backed technology company writing on a diverse range of subjects including business, new media, football, gaming, entertainment and accountancy.
As well as heading up the team at Precious, Foluke also acts as a consultant on editorial and marketing projects for a range of corporate clients. In 2009 Foluke was named in the ‘top 100 ones to watch’ in the Courvoisier The Future 500 a network that celebrates the UK's most innovative business brains and creative talent. Foluke was honoured in the 2010 New Year's Honours List for service to the Creative Industries.
Sandra is the National Director for Race for Opportunity which is a business led network of organisations from the private and public sector working and committed to race equality as part of their business agenda.
Sandra is particularly passionate about raising the profile of senior role models from diverse backgrounds to inspire the next generation and creating an inclusive environment. Before joining Race for Opportunity Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising Cabinet Ministers on diversity and policies on race, disability, gender, and work life balance across Whitehall.
Prior to this she worked for the Department of Work and Pensions delivering frontline services to 33,000 customers whilst managing a diverse team of 120 employees. Sandra also finds some time to work as a consultant team adviser for the Work Foundation’s Leadership Programmes for senior leaders in the public and private sector.
Sonita is Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of Somethin’ Else, the UK’s leading independent radio production company. She set up the business in 1991 and served as CEO for eighteen years.
She is also Non-Executive Director of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Chair of Sound and Music; one of the top twenty Arts Council England funded Charitable Trusts, with core funding of approximately £2M and a staff of 17.
Sonita is Chair of the Radio Sector Skills Council and a Board member of the UK Culture Committee for UNESCO and the London Skills and Employment Board. She won the Carlton Multicultural Achievement Award for TV and Radio in 2002 and is a Fellow of The Royal Society of the Arts. She was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in November 2003.
An active business angel, Gita has held senior positions at NatWest, Arthur Andersen and Gulf Oil before co-founding StarGate. She created the Trapezia funds to invest in
women focused businesses and is a fund manager of the Trapezia funds. Gita was identified among the most influential Asians in the 2005 Power 100, and her selection as a finalist for the 2007 Credit Suisse Award for the Outstanding Woman in Business (National Business Awards) further underscored her contribution to the entrepreneurial community.
Gita serves on the London Chamber of Commerce ABA Board, the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ “Narrowing the Gap” Steering Committee, the board of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE), as a university governor, and as a director of a number of private companies. Gita has employed her City background to help create a business environment in which entrepreneurship can flourish. Indeed, she is seen as an expert leading change in the women’s market and is frequently approached by various decision-makers for her insights.
Neil is Manager of the Business & IP Centre at the British Library. He manages a team of 12 business and intellectual property reference experts, providing information and advice to inventors, business start-ups and entrepreneurs. In his four years at The British Library Neil has introduced a number of innovations, including a range of workshops and one-to-one information advice sessions, as well as free downloading to memory sticks. He has spoken widely on innovation in business information.
Prior to the British Library Neil spent 16 years working in the investment world in the City of London. As well as managing business information services, he also developed an intranet, website and staff newsletter. In addition he was involved in the development of Corporate Governance activities.
He has been active in the information profession for many years, and in 2003 was named the Information World Review - Information Professional of the Year. In recent years he has sat on the Board of SLA Europe (part of the global organization for innovative information professionals). For 2006 he became their president, and was given a fellowship in 2008.
In the few hours of spare time that his Sussex commuting and two teenage children allow Neil enjoys the odd game of tennis. He recently succumbed to a late mid-life crisis and bought a classic motorbike after a 12 year gap.
It's a marvellous honour to have the The British Library Business & IP Centre as our headline sponsor this year, we're delighted to be hosting the Awards Ceremony at the British Library this year as well. Read more here or visit their website here..
The Social Enterprise Coalition is the UK's national body for social enterprise. It represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations. Read more..