Imperial BE

Supporting Black entrepreneurship, promoting Black talent and encouraging greater inclusion through panel events, workshops and masterclasses.

Championing diversity

For founders of Black and mixed-Black heritage, the entrepreneurial journey can be especially challenging, facing multiple disparities such as access to capital.

At Imperial Enterprise Lab, we believe that diversity is a competitive advantage not a tick box, but founders of Black and mixed-Black heritage face multiple barriers and limited support compared to their white counterparts. Extend VC reported that between 2009 and 2019 only 0.24% of venture capital raised in the UK went to Black founders, of which only 0.02% went to Black female founders. Additionally, the lack of Black role-models in management and leadership roles is detrimental to encouraging the younger generation to take this path.

Imperial BE is a series of activities for students of Black heritage at Imperial College London that aims to explore the opportunities available in industry, academia and entrepreneurship. These events introduce role models, develop entrepreneurial skills and create a network across Imperial and beyond.

Previous events

Since its launch in 2022, Imperial BE has run a series of successful events and workshops dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship amongst our Black student community.

Exploring Entrepreneurship

This launch event featured Black founders from across the Imperial ecosystem and beyond and showcased some fantastic successes.

Speakers and panellists included:

    • Demi Ariyo, the Founder of Lendoe, a business finance firm focused on providing access to finance for underestimated founders
    • Alberta Asafo-Asamoah, Co-founder at Liquify, a trade finance marketplace connecting SMEs in emerging markets with global capital markets
    • Plus a board member of two agribusinesses in Ghana and a consultant within the African SME and Fintech space

Guests in attendance at this event included Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, Founding Member, Principal & CTO of Impact X Capital Partners LLP, and Co-Founder and CEO of Code Untapped.


Imperial BE Presents:

Idea Challenge


This session was facilitated by Foundervine and delivered by Trina Nicole who was shortlisted as ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2021’ by Great British Entrepreneur Awards and selected as ‘One to Watch’ by Forbes.

Speakers and facilitators included Indie Gordon, Cecil Adjalo and Elikem Kofi Annan-Wuaku.

Imperial BE Presents:

How to Build your Influence


This workshop provided attendees with the practical ways to learn how to influence vs control, and implement the most effective way to build influence by curating a strong personal brand.

Regardless of sector or career this workshop was designed to help our students define the ‘Why’ at the centre of their personal brand through the process of mind-mapping the factors that are important to them in order to shape that brand for impact.

Imperial BE Presents:

Being Black in the Corporate World


This intimate industry focused panel event, chaired by Charlynn Koranteng, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Deloitte, explored the navigation of different sectors, opportunities  and personal experiences of being Black in the corporate world. With a focus on ‘intrapreneurship’ and how to make an impact in the corporate world there was an opportunity to network with our panellists, professional careers coaches and to book a 1:1 CV review with Imperial’s very own Careers service.

Panellists included

    • Tonie OdeniyiHead of VMware Cloud on AWS: Public Sector, at Amazon Web Services
    • Nnenna OnubaInvestor and Strategic financial adviser at 21Road Capital Advisers, Charity Board Trustee, and Founder at LLB Skin
    • Georgia V. Thompson, Chartered Civil Engineer, Inclusion Advocate and Constructability Engineer at Costain in the Rail Advisory Team.

Imperial BE Presents:

Stories of Black Entrepreneurs


Tim Campbell MBE gave us his account of winning series one of ‘The Apprentice’, what he went on to do next, and what it takes to become a Black entrepreneur today. The event also included a session on how to get funding.

Imperial BE Presents:

Investing in Black Talent


Angel Investor Andy Davis shared his insights into the opportunities and investment channels for Black Entrepreneurs and Founders. Andy set up 10×10, a community for the UK’s early-stage Black founders and Black VCs, and launched the 10×10 Fund. He is spearheading efforts to make European investing more diverse and inclusive by raising awareness of underrepresentation, and providing financial, strategic, and networking support to Black founders.

We also heard how Imperial supports students to access investment in their start-ups from James Groves – Head of Investment Services at Imperial Enterprise Lab.

Take a Look Inside Imperial BE

Watch the Event Highlights from “Investing in Black Talent”

What’s on

Upcoming Imperial BE events

Would you like to take part in Imperial BE events and workshops?

Let us know, and we’ll email you when details become available.

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