Finalists have been revealed for this year’s Black British Business Awards, an annual event that celebrates the achievements of some of the UK’s top corporate bosses and entrepreneurs.

Now in its eighth year, the awards highlight “exceptional business talent” across six industries: arts and media; consumer and luxury; start-ups; financial services; professional services; and STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths).

Among the 39 businesspeople shortlisted are Taponeswa Mavunga, director of Africa at Sony Music UK, Akima Paul-Lambert, litigation partner at Hogan Lovells, and Edgar Chibaka and Jamal Tahlil, co-founders of Leeds-based security firm First Response Group.

Sophie Chandauka, co-founder and chair of the awards, said: “Our finalists have delivered tremendous commercial value across sectors in volatile markets, where entrepreneurs in particular have been decimated.

“They have been strategic advisors to their companies and boards as global corporations are challenged by investors to address systemic racism.

“Despite the pandemic and social unrest, they are fiercely competitive, creative and commercially savvy. They are global in their outlook and ambition, and represent the very best of being British in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit Europe.”

Segun Osuntokun of law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner was named black British businessperson of 2020 at last year’s ceremony.

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