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Dionne Condor-Farrell

Dionne Condor-Farrell

Last month during Black History Month I attended another great event, this time the UK Black Business Show on Saturday 22nd October at the Islington Business Design Centre.

Normally my Saturdays are usually for recovering from the working week (long story) and relaxing, but this particular Saturday I had to make an effort to go check this event out.

The place was predominately full of black professionals and entrepreneurs showcases their companies and/or products. It was great to see some big name companies sponsoring the event such as American Express, HSBC, EY and Lloyds Bank.

Got to briefly see my business mentors Bianca Miller – Cole and Dr Byron Cole at their double business stand promoting both of their businesses.  Bianca, having just launched her new skin care brand Hian Skin, provided an opportunity for attendees to try the luxury product for themselves before purchasing and hear her personal journey. Byron and Bianca were also showcasing their Self Made Networking and Self Made Mentoring Programme, which I have personal experience of and glad I signed up for last year.

Witnessed some popular and intense round table discussions, especially the ones hosted by Mandy Amoasi, Mark Martin ⭐️ and Yinka Ewuola covering The Importance of Allyship and Sponsorship for the Advancement of Black Technologists, and Claudine Reid MBE covering Priorities of a Social Entrepreneur. Claudine also had her own business stand promoting her new book The Balancing Act Priorities of a Social Entrepreneur: Insights on Navigating Life, Livelihood & Legacy.

Attended some great panel discussions on the Main Stage:

There was an interesting conversation between Izzy Obeng and Samuel Kasumu on the Secrets for Navigating Social Enterprise and the Political Environment.  Samuel’s career journey has pretty much been one of serving people and community, and making a difference.  Really impressed with what he has achieved and the current goal he is aiming to achieve going forward.

There was a thought provoking panel discussion on  Dream teams – How to attract and retain great people to help your business grow with Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones aka The Black Farmer, Roni Savage Founder & Managing Director Jomas Associates, Lisa Carter Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Discussion Box, and Tevin Tobun CEO, GV Group and moderated by Richard Taylor Editor, Times Enterprise Network at The Times. All their journeys into entrepreneurship were so inspiring. Loved it.

Next up was a fast paced dialogue between Emmanuel Asuquo and Lorraine Wright MBE on Balancing a Side Hustle: How to Make Multiple Streams of Income with them both sharing their personal experiences of juggling multiple businesses. Emmanuel was as funny as he usually is online. I have no idea how Lorraine runs 5 businesses along side a full time job, I struggle with just one.

Took a sneaky break and picked up a lovely vegan wrap from the canteen, then went for a walk around the main exhibition hall to check out more businesses.  Came across Darren Ashley at one of the exhibition stands who was promoting his own IT support services business Ashtrot for entrepreneurs and small businesses.  If you have a business and you’ve been struggling with your tech Darren and team can take that stress away.

Took a bit of time to get some networking in and catch up with some long term connections.  Big thanks to Tash Pennant who is a serious “super connector”.  I have no idea how you remember all that information about everyone you introduced me to that day Tash. Got to meet so many lovely professional people doing their thing in the business world.

Back to the main stage after the break to the front row seat to witness an interview with the legend Trevor Nelson MBE, Award winning DJ and Presenter.  Trevor’s life journey is full of raw gems (successes and failures) and mind blowing opportunities that came from him following his passion.  He had some story to tell with some insight to how the music moguls really do things. It’s a crying shame what happened to his brilliant Lick Party brand. I could listen to him all day, but unfortunately he only had an hour.  He’s promised to come back next year.

Finally, I got to hear the inspirational story of the life of Levi Roots in an interview moderated by Raphael Sofoluke. His life was like a rollercoaster and hit on some hard times, but managed to come out of all of it with the courage to put himself forward for dragon’s den without letting his past get in the way of his vision.  Key take away from his talk “you are not entitled to the customer base/audience you need to earn their support”.

This was my first time at the UK Black Business Show, but it certainly won’t be my last.  Big thanks to my mentor Bianca Miller – Cole and Dr Byron Cole for the invite.  Because of this I was able to meet some of my fellow Self Made Mentees face to face for the first time after over a year of virtual sessions.  We clicked straight away and they were really great company throughout the long day.  We even got to meet Levi Roots together and get a cheeky photo in :-).

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