UK Black Business Week


As Raphael Sofoluke embarked on his entrepreneurial journey, he noticed a crucial gap in the United Kingdom’s business landscape. There weren’t spaces and events where entrepreneurs and professionals who looked like him could connect, learn, and exchange insights.

Recognizing the need for spaces that offered familiarity and community while enabling representation, Sofoluke founded UK Black Business Show in 2017. This annual conference serves as a platform for Black entrepreneurs to promote and exhibit their businesses, products, and services. It takes place in October to coincide with Black History Month.

“The show has been quite transformational,” according to Michael Adeniya, Chief Operating Officer of UK Black Business Week and Show. “It’s amazing how the community support has grown year after year.”

Expanding Opportunities for Learning and Growth

As the conference gained popularity, it has evolved into a week-long event that offers expanded learning, networking, and growth opportunities.

UK Black Business Week features a diverse range of events, including panels, networking functions, and talks by industry leaders. These events provide valuable insights and advice on entrepreneurship, leadership, career success, and more.

According to Adeniya, attendance at UK Black Business Week in 2022 nearly doubled to more than 10,000 since its launch the previous year. 

Even more significantly, the event has facilitated the growth of many businesses, enabling them to flourish into seven- and eight-figure enterprises.

“We’ve also helped hundreds of professionals in finding their next role or equipping themselves to move up their career ladder,” notes Adeniya. 

“And in the midst of so much potential, we create a tangible way for organizations to practice allyship with the Black community.”

Elevating Virtual Engagement

Now, Adeniya’s team is providing even more inclusive spaces and opportunities through webinars hosted on the production-grade BlueJeans Events platform.

These virtual events are designed to help entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses. They cover areas as diverse as overseas trading, operations management, automation, and AI integration into business strategies.

“Through BlueJeans, we’ve virtually engaged many entrepreneurs and created touch points with them throughout the year,” says Adeniya. 

Enabling Growth Beyond UK Borders

The webinars serve as valuable resources not only for local UK entrepreneurs, but also those abroad seeking to build and grow their businesses in the country.

“For example, we have someone from Ghana who attended one of our webinars and decided to register for UK Black Business Week because he’s setting up a business in the UK. That tells us the massive potential of doing virtual events,” Adeniya says.

The events have also proven to be a useful source of insights into participating businesses, providing a deeper understanding of their priorities and plans.

“During the registration phase of a webinar, we asked participants if they were currently exporting, not exporting, or planning to export within the next 16 to 24 months. It was fascinating to know that many small businesses had international sales as a key part of their growth roadmap.”

Delivering Personalized Event Experiences

With BlueJeans Events as its webinar platform, Adeniya’s small team has been able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

“Typically, when hosting a webinar, I wouldn’t handle content management,” he says. “But I found it surprisingly manageable to handle both tasks at the same time. I could introduce a new speaker, display their name, and transition back.”

The team’s ability to customize their webinars allowed them to effectively brand their events and offer personalized experiences.

“I particularly like the ability to customize the colors and align them with our brand identity. The feature that allows me to play a video with music while the webinar is loading is also great. It prevents attendees from staring at a blank screen and adds excitement to their experience.”

Adeniya adds that preparing short videos for speakers before they start presenting has been incredibly easy. “With just a simple click, I can have those videos ready to enhance the overall event experience,” he says.

“Using the BlueJeans platform turned out to be much simpler than I anticipated. In fact, it surpassed any previous experiences I’ve had.”

Learn about UK Black Business Week happening in October 2023. And experience the power of virtual events today!