Edgar Chibaka and Jamal Tahlil, Co-Founders and Directors of First Response Group Ltd, have been announced as the Business Persons of the Year at the Black British Business Awards virtual ceremony on 07 October 2021.

These inspiring entrepreneurs immigrated to the UK from East Africa in 2007 and built their security, fire and facility management solutions company from scratch.

In July 2021, they reported over £25million in revenue. 

In addition to the Black British Persons of the Year, Rising Star and Senior Leader winners were announced in six industry sectors. This year’s winners represent some of the UK’s top corporate leaders and creative disruptors excelling in their respective fields.

These professionals not only stand out as role models and substantial contributors to the UK economy but are also celebrated for their willingness to drive equitable change within their sectors and in society. The theme for the 2021 Awards is ‘#Amplify’.

The last eighteen months have brought into sharp focus the need to acknowledge and elevate stories about value creation and cultural impact emanating from the Black community in the UK. The BBBAwards will continue to not only #Amplify Black professionals, but Black voices, careers, backgrounds and experiences across all sectors and sections of the UK. 

Sophie Chandauka, Executive Founder and Chair of the Black British Business Awards said: “It is an honour to shine a spotlight on this year’s winners who are not only doing remarkable things in their own organisations but also in their personal lives.

“The ingenuity, resilience and commercial savviness of our rising stars is breathtaking. This year’s senior leaders epitomise the meaning of ‘role models’. They are leading significant commercial functions whilst acting as wise counsel for their investors, boards of directors and rising talent during the pandemic and period of social unrest. Congratulations again to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”

Head of Advancing Black Pathways in EMEA at J.P. Morgan, Cecil Peters, said: "We’re proud sponsors of the Black British Business Awards here at J.P. Morgan. We never fail to be moved and inspired by the stories that emerge during the ceremony.

“The Awards shine a light on a remarkable group of people who are striving to innovate and drive meaningful change. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Edgar and Jamal of First Response Group Ltd, and all of this year’s finalists.”

This year, the BBBAwards introduced two honorary awards. The Influencer of the Year Award which celebrates a Black individual who has shaped public opinion on a topic that is significant to the perception, treatment, and legacy of Black people in Britain.

This was awarded to Marvyn Harrison, Founder of Dope Black Dads. Secondly, The Ally of the Year Award which celebrates an individual who, despite not being Black, has been actively involved in the advancement of Black professionals and driving systemic changes that have differentiated outcomes for Black people within their organisation or sector.

This award was given to Kate Priestman, Senior Vice-President at GSK. The BBBAwards ceremony distinguished outstanding business talent in six industry categories, which are divided into Rising Star and Senior Leader Awards.

The full list of winners of the 2021 BBBAwards are as follows: 

Black British Business Persons of the Year

Edgar Chibaka and Jamal Tahlil, Co-Founders and Directors, First Response Group Ltd

Influencer of the Year

Marvyn Harrison, Founder, Dope Black Dads

Ally of the Year

Kate Priestman, Senior Vice-President, R&D at GSK

Arts & Media Rising Star 

Hannah Chukwu, Assistant Editor at Penguin Random House  

Arts & Media Senior Leader 

Miya Knights, Global Content Strategist at Poq Commerce  

Consumer & Luxury Rising Star 

Vese Aghoghovbia, Founder & Creator-in – Chief at Philly & Friends  

Consumer & Luxury Senior Leader 

Alexandria Dauley, Creative Director at Dauley Designs  

Entrepreneur Rising Star

Alessandra Madubunyi, Director at WE are COCO  

Entrepreneur Senior Leader 

Michael Khouri-Bent, Managing Director at Metropolitan Care Solutions  

Financial Services Rising Star 

Jordon Clarke, GCM/Syndicate Global Ops Project Lead at Morgan Stanley   

Financial Services Senior Leader 

Lara Oyesanya, Group General Counsel at WorldRemit 

Professional Services Rising Star 

Samuel Lawrence, Vice-President EMEA, Mid-Market for JLL Technologies

Professional Services Senior Leader 

Akima Paul-Lambert, Litigation Partner at Hogan Lovells  

STEM Rising Star

Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, Founder and CEO at Definely  

STEM Senior Leader 

Gareth Dauley, Executive Vice President at Pacific Green Technologies  

Once again, J.P. Morgan is the Key Partner of the Awards. Other sponsors include Barclays, Baker McKenzie, Cisco, The Economist Group, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Tranzfar, Wellington Management.