The finalists for the up-and-coming Multicultural Business & Community Champion (MBCC) awards have now been announced following a record number of public votes. Thousands across the country picked their winners, resulting in a final shortlist that shines a well-deserved light on the nation’s unsung heroes. What’s more, 2021’s list includes three new categories of finalists, championing the work and achievements of frontline workers and lockdown heroes from a year unlike any other.
After receiving hundreds of applications for the categories, the public has chosen its finalists; among these are the 14 champions who will be crowned at a star-studded event in November, celebrating those who have gone above and beyond in the corporate world and local communities.
This year’s awards boast categories specially devoted to those who have gone out of their way to support others during the pandemic. Both ‘Frontline Worker of the Year’ and ‘Lockdown Hero’ are solely dedicated to the people who selflessly put their lives on the line during the pandemic to support others; while the ‘Social Activist of the Year’ award will be presented to an individual who is passionate about social change and using their voice to fight for equality.
Tru Powell, a multi award-winning entrepreneur himself, heads up the MBCC awards and has been overwhelmed by the number of votes cast this year. He commented:
“I’m so glad to be bringing back the MBCC awards and I can’t think of a more fitting time to spread some positivity. It has been a tough year for all, with coronavirus causing many to face both professional and personal hurdles, so being able to hear the stories of those who have gone out of their way to do good and give back has been awe-inspiring.
“The three new categories that we have added to this year’s awards are particularly close to our hearts, as they allow us to give heartfelt thanks to the people that have helped us make it through the pandemic. One of MBCC’s missions has always been to focus on the people who make a real difference within their communities; so I hope that the introduction of these categories will aid us in celebrating these inspiring individuals”.
The next stage will see the MBCC Awards’ expert judging panel of entrepreneurs, activists, and household-names pick the winners for each category. With notable contributors such as presenter Adil Ray OBE, comedian David “Sideman” Whitley and singer/songwriter Jamelia on the panel, they will also be joined by The Football Association’s Head of Diversity Dal Darroch, Greater Birmingham’s Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta Brealey, and ITV Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan to name a few. Also accompanying the panel are award winning entrepreneurs Jodie Cook, Justice Williams MBE and Cordell Jeffers.
“With so many amazing finalists, the judges will certainly have a tough decision to make this year! I’m really looking forward to seeing who they choose as their winners, and celebrating with them at the MBCC Awards in November,” Tru concluded.
The full list of shortlisted finalists and their respective categories are:
Charity of the Year
Birmingham Says No
Blessed 2 Bless
Digbeth Dining Club CIC
Community Unsung Hero of the Year
CJ Lloyd Webley
Community Unsung She-ro of the Year
Cllr. Sharon Thompson
Entrepreneur of the Year
Chef Mellow Beezy – Mellow’s Catering
Jashaan Gill – Jheez
Kameese Davis – Nylah’s Naturals
Oyinkansola Adebayo – Niyo Enterprise
Sarah Walters – Optimum Youth Care
Shamil Mae – Maevela
Frontline Worker of the Year
Dr. Toluwa Adepeju
Shannon Louise Hebberts
Lockdown Hero of the Year
Claire Yates Wilson
Mentor of the Year
Leah Siân Bayley
Most Influential Business Person of the Year
Chantel Hall-Reid – Sister2Sister
Chris Tipping – The Digital Marketing Laboratory
Denise Myers – Evenfields Careers
Rosie Ginday – Miss Macaroon
Tim Andrews – Hollywood Monster
Waheed ‘Aesthetic’ Mohammed – Aesthetic Health and Fitness Club
Most Inspirational Person of the Year
Professor Kehinde Andrews
Networker of the Year
Belinda Kaur – BK Network
Haider Mustafa – BizzCoin
Liz Baitson – Preneur Capital Commercial Finance
Michelle Raymond – The People’s Partner
Ryan Doyle – Park Regis
Zonia Anderson-Bell – InteleTravel
Outstanding Business of the Year
Asian Business Chamber of Commerce
Bluesky Business Consultancy
Car Buying Guru
Role Model of the Year
Louize Beatrice Jackson
Social Activist of the Year
Sophie Marie Bennett