UK Black History Month 2020: The 15 Orgs You Should Know

By Charmaine Niewerth // 23 October 2020

In honour of Black History Month, here are the 15 organisations working to support underrepresented communities in tech and business that you should know about.

Founders Forum and McKinsey & Company, in collaboration with accelerateHER and colorintech, recently hosted a private roundtable discussion to brainstorm tangible ways to build and sustain more Black-founded businesses, and achieve more diversity in the technology and startup ecosystem.

The 65 participants included a diverse mix of government leaders, CEOs, investors, founders, and thought leaders from across Europe and North America.

Also present at the session were 15 community organisations, pressure groups, funds and startups working to improve Black and minority ethnic representation in UK tech and broader business.

Below, you’ll find an alphabetical list of these organisations and their founders present at the session, along with more information on what each organisation does.

15 organisations you should know

1. Ada Ventures – Co-founded by Francesca (Check) Warner, Ada Ventures is a $34m seed venture capital fund investing in overlooked founders and overlooked markets.

2. AFBE–UK – Co-founded by Nike Folayan, AFBE-UK (Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers) a not-for-profit organisation which promotes higher achievements in education and engineering particularly among people from black and minority ethnicity backgrounds.

3. Angel Investing School – Founded by Andy Ayim, Angel Investing School trains professionals from all backgrounds on how to get started with investing in startups.

4. Black Girl Fest – Founded by Nicole Crentsil, Black Girl Fest is the UK’s only annual festival dedicated to celebrating black women of all ages, and from all walks of life. Black Girl Fest this year expanded their remit and launched the Black Girl Fest Academy, a seven-month community-focused creative programme in association with Today at Apple and the mayor of London.

5. BYP Network – Co-founded by Kike Oniwinde, BYP (Black Young Professionals) Network is a platform that connects black professionals to each other and corporations serving 40,000 members and over 60 corporate clients.

6. CareerEar – Founded by Claudine Adeyemi, CareerEar is a platform which aims to ensure that access to career advice and information is a right, not a privilege. Their platform combines data and community to help careers seekers and changers make informed decisions and supports employers to plug their skills gaps by accessing and engaging talent that they often overlook.

7. colorintech – Co-founded by Ashleigh Ainsley, colorintech is an organisation orientated around increasing access, awareness and opportunities to underrepresented groups (in particular ethnic minorities) in the technology industry. colorintech runs a number of programs addressing various touch points with the talent pipeline alongside Black Tech Fest, a celebration of black innovation & creativity each October.

8. Extend Ventures – Co-founded by Erika Brodnock, Extend Ventures is pioneering research that aims to democratise access to venture finance for ethnically diverse entrepreneurs.

9. Hustle Crew – Founded by Abadesi Osunsade, Hustle Crew is an organisation focused on making tech more inclusive through talks, training and mentorship, since 2016.

10. Impact X Capital – Co-founded by Eric Collins, Impact X Capital is a Venture Capital Fund that invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe.

11. The Nest – Founded by Gary Stewart, The Nest is a platform for founders to find operational support from a community of their peers and experts.

12. SkysTheLimit – Co-founded by Nicolas Cary, SkysTheLimit is a digital accelerator connecting early-stage entrepreneurs with mentoring and advice across the United States and United Kingdom.

13. Social Capital Networks – Founded by Julia Hobsbawm in 2019, Social Capital Networks works to bring network science in to play by affording diverse networks and gatherings the opportunity to meet and work with senior colleagues through its mentorship programme.

14. Stemettes – Founded by Anne-Marie Imafidon, Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) roles.

15. YSYS – Founded by Deborah Okenla, YSYS (Your Startup, Your Story), a diverse startup community for founders, developers, creatives, and investors on a mission to make a difference. Their work focuses on the design and delivery of entrepreneurial and employment programmes for diverse talent.