Success Stories, leadership and entrepreneurship
Tunji Akintokun Named as Finalists in the Black British Business Awards STEM Category
Tunji Akintokun, Director at Cisco and Founder/Co-Director of social enterprise Your Future Your Ambition (YFYA) has been named as a finalist for the Black British Business Awards STEM category. The Black British Business Awards founded by Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka, aims to support and promote business excellence and to uncover inspirational role models and ambassadors to lead a new generation of business people across all UK industries including media, professional services, finance, infrastructure and manufacturing and STEM.
YFYA, an organisation launched in 2012 aims to attract and encourage more diverse talent from BAME backgrounds into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related careers. Mr Atintokun formed YFYA out of the philosophy “It takes a village to raise a child”, the village being companies offering a diversity of experiences and opportunities that enrich a young person’s life.
YFYA has become the “must” attend STEM based career day, and has attracted over 1,000 students, an average of 80 schools/colleges, gained executive sponsorship and involvement of over 20 organisations. YFYA is growing from strength to strength and receiving recognition for the impact the initiative is having in the community from Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, Race for Opportunity, Arsenal FC Community scheme and the London Borough of Islington. YFYA has raised over £5,000 to support Street Child Africa and 100 Black Men of London charities.
Mr Akintokun said, “It is an honour to be recognised as a finalist at the inaugural Black British Business Awards in the STEM category. Capturing diverse early in career talent is fundamental for the future growth and sustainability of UK PLC in the global marketplace with Science & Technology being a key catalyst. I would like to commend the BBB Awards in providing a platform to showcase and recognise the great work carried out by many inspirational people”
This year’s finalist range from Dragon’s Den star Pier Linney and agricultural entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones to rising stars from a wide range of range of leading UK companies who impressed the judges with their stellar business achievements.
The winners will be announced on 2October at the Grange City Hotel, London.
The judging panel includes Tim Campbell MBE the BBC Apprentice 2005 winner, Sanjay Bhandari, Partner, EY, Karen Blackett OBE, CEO, MediaCom, Adrian Joseph, Director, Customer Solutions & Innovation, Northern & Central Europe Google and Steve Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, ASDA.
The category sponsors EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest engery companies, producing around one-fifth of the nation’s electricity. Fiona Jackson Head of Strategic Resourcing and Employer Branding of EDF Energy said: “EDF Energy believes that British business benefits from having a diverse workforce which reflects our society. We know that diverse teams lead to better performance and we want more of this in our business, in particular we want to attract more BAME candidates into STEM careers with us. By showcasing achievements of role models from within the Black community, we hope to inspire young people to choose STEM careers as well as encouraging existing employees who want to progress with us.”
Ms Eusebe said; “I started these awards to showcase the contribution made to the British economy by black business people, and with the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors, judges, partners, community and government, we now have a sold out ceremony that is raising awareness, changing mindsets, and inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”
Ms Chandauka said: “We have every expectation that the Black British Business Awards will forecast, with precision, important boardroom members of the future. Our rising stars are phenomenally gifted individuals who have defied the odds, particularly given the fiercely competitive environment following the global financial crisis. The Awards will serve as an antidote to stereotypes on so many levels. We feel inspired to maintain this level of excellence for years to come.”