London Met Hosts Awards Celebrating Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Enterprises

The University's Work Based Learning Team organised the Online Business Start-Up Hub Black History Month Awards on 26 October.

Date: 30 November 2023

London Metropolitan University's Work Based Learning Team organised the Online Business Start-Up Hub (OBSH) Black History Month Awards on October 26, as part of the institution's ongoing Black History 365 celebrations. The event aimed to recognise and honour 15 start-up organisations, primarily comprising social enterprises and charities, for their contributions to their communities.

At the ceremony Sarah Haid, Director of Better Safe Communities, presented some of the awards, having worked with hundreds of London Met students through the Uni’s learning module, Empowering London, since 2019. Within the first year and a half of this collaboration, more than 100 students from Guildhall School of Business and Law, School of Computing and Digital Media and the School of Social Science and Social Professions had undertaken work experiences for their work placement study modules. To date, Sarah has provided placements to over 370 of our students with her member organisations, “OBSH focuses on affordability and leverages the talent of students and recent graduates from London Met and Westminster University to support enterprises to succeed”, said Sarah Haid

Alexandra Banks, the University’s Dean of Graduate Success, applauded the entrepreneurial spirit showcased by these start-ups, alongside Vanessa Airth, Head of Work Based Learning, Policy and Practice. “ It was fantastic to see the significant contributions of over 300 London Met students to the innovation driving these initiatives”, said Alexandra Banks. Alex and Vanessa expressed enthusiasm for more students to develop their skills through opportunities with the Online Business Support Hub.Examples of just a few of the start-up social enterprises and charities that received awards:

  • Dr Nadira Ali who has engaged 60 SCDM students to create a medical app to allow her to offer low price medical appointments internationally. She will offer free health consultations to deprived parts of the world and has given employment to a London Met graduate.
  • An acupuncture business who has used eight of London Met’s translation students to provide marketing and guidance in several languages.
  • A Brunel graduate who wants to engage our business and computing students to help her to create an app to support Muslim women on financial issues
  • A London Met final year Health & Social Care student who has set up an organisation, Butterfly Touch, to raise awareness and offer support for people with lupus, a condition which she has herself and those who experience domestic violence.
  • Henry, a Primary School teacher who has set-up an initiative to help improve children's mental health via art therapy by them creating and screen print positive slogan t-shirts and is keen to offer placements to our students.
  • Blind Ambition, run by Seema Flower who has 2% vision, she advises companies on disability awareness – including Marks & Spencer and has employed a London Met student
  • Ihlifestyle who support Bangladeshi women in poverty by selling their hand embroidered bed and sofa covers at fairtrade prices. The enterprise has been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine.

Sarah Haid, known for her commitment to working with London Met students as her charity expands, highlighted the importance of collaborations between the university and these enterprises for mutual growth and success. Sarah has previously featured on London Met news pages for International Women’s Day.

Photo of Alexandra Banks, Vanessa Airth and Hodan Haili