Proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Black Entrepreneurs’ Awards: – A marketplace that connects drivers to rental vehicles in a simple and efficient way;

Afrocenchix – Natural and organic haircare products for afro and curly hair;

GreenPad Enterprise – An energy and environmental management company dedicated to providing sustainability services to businesses and local communities.

Please note that the application process has now closed.


In July 2018 KPMG launched the Black Entrepreneurs' Award (BEA) - a  programme, designed to support Black Heritage entrepreneurs and their start-ups to become investment ready.

While start-ups founded by Black entrepreneurs are on the rise, due to reduced access to funding and support, they can often become stuck early on in their journey. In response, this competition and business growth programme aims to accelerate, recognise and celebrate success among entrepreneurs from Black backgrounds.

The Benefits

KPMG knows how to help businesses grow.

The three winners will receive:

  • A dedicated senior KPMG professional to provide mentorship and coaching
  • Access and invitation to the Inspiring Speakers series which convenes leading thinkers, iconic entrepreneurs and industry disruptors
  • £5,000 to invest in their business or as a donation to the charity or community project of their choice
  • Publicity through our PR and Social Media channels
  • 12 month membership to Enterprise Nation

Click here for FAQs


Supporting Black-founded start-ups to become investment-ready

Olu Odubajo Graduate Trainee and Philip Davidson Managing Partner

Why Black talent?

  • Studies show that Black professionals can often face barriers in progression beyond middle management.
  • This has led to a growing trend of entrepreneurship, the shift to increased self-employment and the subsequent growth of Black founded start-ups.

  • Government reports indicate it is more difficult for ethnic minorities to obtain the support and funding they require to establish a business and become investment ready.

We are absolutely determined that no barriers to progression exist for Black colleagues at KPMG. But we also recognise that there is an opportunity to engage with the trend we have seen.


  • This initiative is aimed at entrepreneurs from a Black heritage background
  • Any individual from this background who owns a start-up company that is registered and based in the UK is encouraged to apply
  • At the minimum your company must have a viable product/service
  • The competition is not open to any business which is a KPMG audit client

Key dates

  • 11 September, pre-pitching workshop: Finalists are invited to join a workshop to prepare them for the final round at Judging day.

  • 20 September Judging Day: Finalists will pitch their businesses. The competition will be judged by a panel of 4 industry experts.

Application process

The application process has now closed.

Finalists will be invited to a Judging day where they will pitch in front of a panel of industry experts. The three winners will be selected and announced at Judging day.

Q: What is the pitching format?

Each company will be given a total of eight minutes on stage, four minutes to pitch followed by four minutes for a Question and Answer session with the judging panel.

Finalists will be scored against; the Pitch Quality, Disruption and Innovation, Market Potential and Traction:

Quality of pitch: How well did the presenter communicate with the audience, tell their story and articulate their value proposition.

Disruption and Innovation: How much of a game changer is the product or service. This category aims to score how revolutionary the company is in relation to what the market is doing.

Market potential: What is the potential market size and scale of the product or service. This could be in relation to an existing market (and therefore taking market share) or to the creation of a new market segment.

Traction: How much traction has the company achieved. Where the product is not yet in market what testing (and feedback) has been received.

 Q: How and when will the winners be notified?

Winners will be notified on Judging day during a short award ceremony, and we will launch the winners publicly after this event.

Click here for FAQs

Our Judges

Philip Davidson

Managing Partner

Philip has been the UK Managing Partner since November 2015, and is responsible for running the day to day operations of the UK firm. He is also a member of the UK Board and Chair of the Executive Committee.

Philip has held a number of senior leadership positions in the UK firm and globally, including Global Chief Operating Officer for KPMG International and Global Head of Transactions and Restructuring. 

His personal specialism is in advising underperforming companies and their stakeholders on operational and financial restructurings.


Melanie Richards

Deputy Chair

Melanie joined KPMG in 2000 to develop the Debt Advisory practice and has more than 30 years of banking experience in bank lending, debt restructuring and capital markets’ instruments.

As Deputy Chair Melanie oversees the stewardship of KPMG and brings the voice of the client to the heart of KPMG’s strategic decisions. She leads KPMG’s Vice-Chairs who represent KPMG’s external voice in the market and works alongside our highest-profile clients and key stakeholders, including regulators, industry bodies and the media.

Melanie is a passionate champion of diversity and is a recognised voice on the issue of gender equality in the UK.


Sanjay Thakkar

Head of Deal Advisory

Sanjay is a member of the Executive Committee of KPMG in the UK. Sanjay is also the Head of our Deal Advisory business which advises our largest global clients to buy, sell, fund, fix and partner. He has worked across the globe in both emerging and developed markets. This included spending two years in California, and three years in both Frankfurt and India. Joining the firm in 1991, Sanjay has significant cross border experience helping major clients across the globe on deals in every continent.  

Sanjay came to the UK in 1972 as a Ugandan refugee. He grew up on a council estate and lived through racial tensions in the 1980s. He strongly believes that business must play a role in giving everyone the same opportunities to succeed as he had.


Richard Iferenta

Partner, Tax

Richard Iferenta has been a tax partner in our Financial Services practice for the past 14 years. Richard has held a number of roles in the firm including being the Head of the UK Challenger Banking practice, Global Head of KPMG’s Financial Services Indirect Tax practice and the lead UK Indirect Tax Partner for financial services.

In his role as Head of Challenger Banking, Richard was at the centre of ensuring that newer banks are able to fully leverage the broader expertise that KPMG deploys across its large financial services practice as well supporting challenger banks in setting up and running banks that are dynamic and leverage new technologies effectively. On the tax front, Richard takes the lead for advising many large banks, insurance companies and investment managers on transactional work and supporting them with their day to day activities. 

Richard is the Partner sponsor for our Afro-Caribbean Network and is passionate about supporting the career development of BAME people in general. Richard has set up the Black Leaders Network comprising of leading business people.