The UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference 2024 has announced its keynote speakers.

They are Theresa Harrison, Global Director of Environmental Social Governance Services at EY; Nedra Dickson, Managing Director and Global Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Lead at Accenture; and Lucy Quist, IFC-nominated Non-Executive Director for CSquared, Board Member of INSEAD Business School and Margins ID Group, and author of “The Bold New Normal.”

The trio will discuss their journeys and the challenges faced within supplier diversity at the conference.

The third UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference will take place on Thursday, 11 July 2024, at the NatWest Conference Centre in London. The event aims to foster dialogue among different parts of the business community, policymakers, financial institutions, and the public, private, and third sectors. The focus is on encouraging open and meaningful conversations in a new and powerful way.

Women in Entrepreneurship

With women entrepreneurship being one of the fastest-growing groups, the conference also seeks to address tough questions and understand recommendations in Dr Carlton Brown’s Black Entrepreneurs Report. This segment will be hosted by Hannah Ajala, a multiple award-winning international journalist, consultant, and presenter. Her work spans the UK and Africa, focusing on empowering marginalised communities, current affairs, and true crime podcasts for organisations like the BBC and CBC.

Dr Carlton Brown, CEO of Aspire Consultancy and founder of the BBEC, expressed his enthusiasm, “It is an honour to have the award-winning journalist Hannah return for a second year to chair the panel. We are also privileged to have Theresa Harrison, Nedra Dickson, and Lucy Quist as guest speakers at this year’s Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference.”

Dr Brown added: “Hannah, Theresa, Nedra, and Lucy are true icons who have achieved extraordinary success in their extensive careers. What is even more remarkable is their dedication and commitment to breaking down barriers for future generations of young professionals from diverse backgrounds. To change the status quo, we need to create more thriving businesses, more success stories, more role models, and a more positive narrative about the contributions Black businesses can make to the economy. This is a power panel of women, not to be missed.”

Speakers’ Comments

Theresa Harrison expressed her excitement, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to speak at the UK Black Entrepreneurs Conference again and to be in such great company alongside Nedra Dickson and Lucy Quist. It’s so important that we share our stories of success and struggle to help inspire and uplift other black entrepreneurs.”

Nedra Dickson shared her perspective, “When I started out, I had my fair share of initial imposter syndrome and concern about being young, black, and female, but I have broken through many barriers. We can change ourselves by being better informed, we can be better allies, and we can help others to change for the better.”

Lucy Quist also highlighted the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs, “Female entrepreneurs face enough obstacles when securing investment for their businesses. For black women, there are even more hurdles. I’m always thinking of ways that I can help to open more doors for other black women. In order for people on the outside of the sector to see what a career in business can be for them, they need to see people – like me – who look like them.”

The UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference 2024 promises to be a significant event, bringing together influential voices to discuss and tackle issues of diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in the business world. With a focus on creating more thriving businesses, success stories, and role models, the conference aims to foster a more positive narrative about the contributions of Black businesses to the economy.