Business & IP Centre Manchester became the first venue outside of London to host PRECIOUS Nights, an evening aimed at professional women of colour.
The founder of PRECIOUS Awards, Foluke Akinlose MBE FRSA, is a Mancunian at heart, so it was extra special being able to host the event in her city.
Foluke explained, "It was hugely exciting to take PRECIOUS Nights on the road and even more exciting for me personally to host the first one in Manchester, my home town.
âIt was also a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work of three Manchester based entrepreneurs contributing so successfully to the GDP of the city and beyond. We had a lovely audience, they were really welcoming and engaged which led to a very open and honest conversation about being a women of colour in business in modern Britain. Huge thanks Manchester Business & IP Centre for hosting us so warmly. We cannot wait to go back!"
As well as hearing Foluke's story, the rest of the panel included:
Roselene Thomas: Director and founder of Thomas UK Consulting Services Ltd, a company that provides IT software testing services with headquarters in Manchester, UK and offices in India.
Dijonn Taylor: Founder of two award-winning businesses. Starting with a desire to empower and reward children at all levels of education through experiencing a traditional graduation ceremony, in 1997 she staged the first ever cap and gown graduation ceremony in the UK at a Manchester Primary School. Soon after her business Young Graduate was born.
Her second business venture Savvy Guest was created to facilitate pre-career meetups between adults and employees for pre-career chats. Dijonn realised people were experiencing barriers when trying to gain access to employers for a conversation to gain realistic career tips and insight into job roles and the industry.
Lisa Maynard Atem: Social media strategist with a proven track record at the worldâs most famous luxurious department store, Harrods, where she worked with numerous luxury brands including CHANEL, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and GUCCI.
Lisa built and developed a global social portfolio that now boasts over 2.5 million followers across key social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Harrods is now the most followed luxury department store in Europe on Instagram and one of the most followed in the world, with over 1.1 million followers.
It was hosted by transformational counsellor, blogger and the founder of Self-Central, Lisa Bent.
Audiences at PRECIOUS Nights can hear from previous PRECIOUS Awards finalists and winners about their business journey, get actionable tips, be inspired and build networks with new contacts. The PRECIOUS Awards were founded in 2007 to celebrate and applaud the professional achievements of women of colour in the UK. The organization has a dynamic and passionate following, gained over twelve years of bringing brilliant women into the spotlight and celebrating the 'Best of British' by recognising and rewarding exceptional determination, innovation and entrepreneurial skills across multiple sectors and inspiring women of colour to succeed in business and professional life.
Jonathan Ebbs, Service Development Specialist at Business & IP Centre Manchester said, âThe evening was full of powerful, inspiring stories including lots of shared tips and anecdotes from the audience. It was one of the buzziest events Business & IP Centre Manchester has seen, with lots of laughter but also a real passion and desire to help each other to succeedâ.