Under 1% of venture capital investment in the UK has gone to Black Heritage entrepreneurs over the last 10 years - highlighting the systematic barriers Black-owned businesses face when securing finance.

We are absolutely determined that no barriers to progression should exist for Black Heritage colleagues at KPMG. But we also recognise that as a firm, we have a social responsibility to extend our support beyond KPMG colleagues.

To support, inspire and accelerate success among entrepreneurs from Black Heritage backgrounds, we are delighted to run the KPMG Black Entrepreneurs’ Awards for 2024, now in its fifth year.

Applications will open in the summer of 2024. Please pre-register your interest here to receive a notification when our applications open.

What is the Black Entrepreneurs' Award?

The Black Entrepreneurs' Award (BEA) is a celebration of Black Heritage entrepreneurs in the UK which provides a platform and helps to market their businesses to a wider audience. The four winners receive a cash prize of £25,000 each, and all of the finalists are enrolled onto a bespoke 12-month business acceleration programme, designed to support Black Heritage entrepreneurs and accelerate the growth of their start-ups.

How does it work?

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Finalists are invited to a pre-pitch workshop and are provided with valuable insights on how to prepare for the pitch night.

Pitch and Ceremony

Finalists will pitch their business to a panel of industry experts for judging. Pitches are reviewed against criteria and winners announced.

What do the winners receive?


Senior mentoring

Winners are paired with dedicated KPMG experts who provide mentorship and coaching.


£25,000 cash prize

The four winners will receive £25,000 each to invest in their business or as a donation to the charity or community project of their choice.


Functional and sector-specific expertise

Winners are enrolled onto a 12-month acceleration programme and receive several expert workshops focused on variety of topics – spanning how to lead, to how to accelerate growth.


Promotion and publicity

Winners will be promoted and celebrated through KPMG’s social channels and our PR teams.

Frequently asked questions

This initiative is aimed at UK entrepreneurs from a Black Heritage background.

To be eligible for the competition, you must:

  • Have a registered company in the UK
  • At the minimum your company must have a viable product/service.
  • Have been actively operating for at least 3 months
  • Not be majority owned by a large corporate

What are we looking for?

  • Disruption and innovation: How much of a game changer is the product or service. This category aims to score how revolutionary the company is in relation to what the market is doing.
  • Market potential: What is the potential market size and scale of the product or service. This could be in relation to an existing market (and therefore taking market share) or in the creation of a new market segment.
  • Quality of pitch: How well did the presenter communicate with the audience, tell their story and articulate their value proposition.
  • Traction: How much traction has the company achieved. Where the product is not yet in market what testing (and feedback) has the business received.

Q: How can I participate in the competition?
A: To enter the competition, you must fill out the online application form for your company before the application deadline of 21 July 2024.

Q: Who can apply?
A: This initiative is focused on ethnic minorities from a black heritage background. Any individuals who meet the criteria above and own a company based in the UK can apply (excl. KPMG employees and contractors). All entrants entering the competition must be residents in the UK and aged 18 years or over.

Q: When can I apply?
A: Applications are open from Monday 3 June 2024 and close on 21 July 2024. All applications must be received by midnight (GMT) on 21 July 2024.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries?
A: During the application period, there is no limit to the number of companies that can apply, however we request that no more than one application per company is submitted.

Q: What information do I need to provide?
A: If you'd like to apply, please see our application form which details the information we'd like you to share.

Q: What stage should my company be at to be considered?
A: We are looking for companies that have been operating for at least 3 months, and must have a viable product or service. If you’re unsure if you meet the criteria, send us an email at KPMG_BEA@kpmg.co.uk

Q: What does the winner get?
A: The winners will be enrolled onto a 12-month programme receiving:

  • A cash prize of £25,000 for each of the four winners to invest in their business or as a donation to the charity or community project of their choice.
  • A dedicated senior KPMG professional to provide mentorship and coaching.
  • Expert-led skills workshops covering: leadership, strategic growth, negotiation and fundraising.
  • Publicity through our PR channels.

None of the prizes can be substituted by an alternative

Q: If chosen as a finalist, what support will I receive ahead of the pitch?
A: Our finalists will be invited to a pre-pitch workshop in our London office where we'll provide valuable insights on how to prepare for the pitch night. The agenda includes an overview of who the judges are, an explanation of the judging criteria and scoring, and advice on delivering a strong pitch. You will also get a chance to practice your pitch and get feedback from KPMG experts.

Q: What are the costs involved in participation?
A: There is no charge for entering into the competition.

Q: Is there any publicity involved?
A: KPMG will be promoting the BEA programme throughout the course of the competition. By entering the competition, you agree that any personal information provided by you with your entry may be held and used by KPMG to administer the competition and its promotion.

If you are a finalist of the competition, you agree that KPMG may use your name, image and company branding to announce the winner and finalists of the competition and for any other reasonable and related promotional and marketing purposes.

Q: Will I receive feedback on my application?
A: Unsuccessful applicants will be notified. Due to the volume of entries received, we are unable to provide detailed feedback to each unsuccessful applicant.

We value the time and effort put into each submission and thank you for your participation.

Q: Who do I get in touch with for further information?
A: For any further information please email KPMG_BEA@kpmg.co.uk.

Hear from our past winners

Competition sponsors

Addie Pinkster

We are absolutely thrilled to launch these awards that celebrate the amazing talent of black heritage business owners across the UK. Every year we see brilliant businesses enter the awards and it’s exciting to be able to offer support to Black entrepreneurs who often don’t have access to the resources they need to scale their businesses.

Addie Pinkster

Karl Edge

Chief People Officer and Head of Regions, KPMG in the UK
Jenny Baskerville

Jenny Baskerville

Director, Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, KPMG in the UK