New business masterclass series heralded a great success

Got an idea for a business? Want to take your company to the next level but unsure where to start?

Last month the UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference launched a brand new series of masterclasses – in partnership with NatWest, Tesco, Kraft Heinz, Co-op, Aspire Consultancy and the People’s Partner – to help Black-owned businesses navigate the challenges of growth and achieve their goals.

The interactive workshops – which were held in Manchester (April 10), Birmingham (April 18), and London (May 3) – helped equip both aspiring and established entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to:

* Establish a clear roadmap for their business and build a solid foundation for future growth

*Set measurable business goals and create a plan to achieve them

*Understand what motivates customers and ensure their business’ offerings resonate with their clients’ needs

* Learn how to attract and retain the right customers for your business

*Reach their target ideal audience

Philip Banks, strategy and trade director at Tesco, added: “It was an honour to meet so many passionate entrepreneurs at the masterclasses, and great to be able to share the experience of Segun Akinwoleola, founder and CEO of Gym Kitchen, and his journey at Tesco.

“Through our Tesco Accelerator programme, we are always on the lookout for new products from diverse businesses. I hope some of the business owners we met will be inspired to work with Tesco in the future.”

Michelle Raymond, managing director at The People’s Partner, who spoke on the topic of coaching said: “I was truly amazed by the impact of the regional masterclasses. It was a privilege to be involved, seeing the commitment and skill that turned the sessions into a dynamic source of learning and development for everyone involved.

Fellow speaker Richard McKeown, channel director at Kraft Heinz – whose seminar was all about how to make a successful business pitch – commented: “We enjoyed sharing our practical experiences of dealing with large retailers and the simple steps we take to create pitches and build selling stories.”

Sharniya Ferdinand, NatWest Enterprise Community strategy director, touched on the fundamentals of finance during her session. Ferdinand said: “We are delighted to have supported the UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference to deliver these masterclasses. The content of the masterclasses was invaluable to entrepreneurs covering sales, access to supply chains, funding, strategic marketing, and PR […] and it was a pleasure to witness the engagement of the entrepreneurs who joined us.”

To learn more about the UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference and book your spot for the 2024 event which is taking place on July 11 at the NatWest Conference Centre in London, please visit

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