(L-R: Alex Beresford, Tru Powell, Jamelia, Zoe Bennett, Mark Smith, Trish Adudu)

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

ACT CIC

Art4Charity

Birmingham Says No

Blessed 2 Bless

Digbeth Dining Club CIC

Mums United

Community Unsung Hero of the Year

CJ Lloyd Webley

Duncan Casburn

Ezra Taylor

Matt Denning

Michael Willis

Mike Farley

Community Unsung She-ro of the Year

Cllr. Sharon Thompson

Juliet Coley

Liz Pemberton

Sarah Ventre

Sharon Goodridge

Vandana Khurana

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

Beverley Hardman

Darnish Amraz

Dr. Toluwa Adepeju

Nathan Aycee

Neelam Dhansey

Shannon Louise Hebberts

Lifetime Achievement

Chef Akila

Gail Parmel

Jacqui Daniels

Maureen Lewis

Mukthar Dar

Lockdown Hero of the Year

Claire Goodwin-Fee

Claire Yates Wilson

Continental GT

DJ Silk

Jemma Yoloye

Ranjit Singh

Mentor of the Year

Beth Mabey

Daniella Genas

Dwayne Johnson

Leah Siân Bayley

Marlon Walters

Solomon Griffiths

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

Anthony Olaseinde

Cheryl Shaw

Kieran Quinlan

Maisha Sumah

Professor Kehinde Andrews

Sayce Holmes-Lewis

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

Free Train

OnTheBreadLine

Primal Mastery

Role Model of the Year

Alexandra Wilson

Casey Bailey

Danielle Harvey

Debbie-Louise Bates

Emmanuel Awoyelu

Louize Beatrice Jackson

Social Activist of the Year

Amahra Spence

Kelechi Okafor

Nzinga Orgill

Oloni Baby

Shani Dhanda

Sophie Marie Bennett