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AEO Awards

Raphael Sofoluke

Raphael Sofoluke

Founder & CEO, UK Black Business Show

Raphael Sofoluke is a serial entrepreneur, author, visionary & Founder and CEO behind UK Black Business Show, UK Black Business Week, Birmingham Black Business Show & Black Tech Achievement Awards. The UK Black Business Week is the first dedicated week in the UK for Black entrepreneurs, professionals, and allies of the Black community.

The UK Black Business Show was founded in 2017, it is an annual conference and exhibition show which takes place during Black History Month to highlight and promote the amazing businesses founded by people from the black community. The show has been endorsed by Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London and David Lammy MP for Tottenham.

The show highlights the achievements and contributions black businesses have made to the economy and attendees can hear insights and advice in entrepreneurship, leadership, and business from some of the UK’s leading black business professionals.

2023 marked the show’s seventh year and was a resounding success. Now a whole week of event it attracted over 15,000 across the week with the flagship UK Black Business Show attracting over 6,000 attendees on one day and 200 Exhibitors. The Show was featured in Forbes, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and many more with some of the biggest organisations in the world also attending.
Raphael has spoken for and featured on several well-known platforms including Sky, BBC, ITV News, Forbes, Mastercard, CBS, Facebook & BET as well as a personal invite to 10 Downing Street during Black History Month.

Raphael has also launched the Black Tech Achievement Awards which is set-up to celebrate and acknowledge black role models and innovators within the tech sector and to help illuminate the pathways to greater black representation of the community within the industry. Companies that have attended the awards includes some of the biggest tech companies in the world. In 2020 the awards were featured on BBC and in 2022 Raphael appeared on Sky News talking about the event. In 2020 Raphael was also listed as one of Forbes 25 Leading Black British Business people to follow.

Raphael is also the Co-Author of Twice as Hard book alongside his wife. The book was released in the UK and the US in June 2021, and it is published by DK (Penguin Random House). Twice as Hard will share valuable lessons from 40 Black trailblazers from across the UK and US. It will address the real challenges faced by Black people navigating predominantly white spaces while providing tried and tested recommendations on how to navigate these environments to create personal and professional success. The book includes interviews with Mathew Knowles (Beyoncé & Solange Dad), Trevor Nelson MBE, Bianca Miller, Pamela Hutchinson, Munya Chawawa and many more.

In 2021 Raphael has launched the UK Black Business Week, the first dedicated week in the UK for Black Business Owners, Professionals and Allies of the Black Community. The week had up to 8,000 attendees and included sponsors such as JP Morgan, HSBC, American Express, Moody’s, EY and more. It also had some incredible speakers such as Sir Trevor McDonald, June Sarpong and more.

In 2022, Raphael has featured in a nationwide campaign with Axa and Evening Standard as one of Three Axa Start up Angels who will give £25,000 to two business people. He was also named in a global list of most influential people of African descent

Today, the UK Black Business Week & Show has sponsors and partners including HSBC, JP Morgan, American Express, Moody’s, Ralph Lauren, PWC, Barclays, The Times, TalkSport, Tesco, Dentsu, EY, Moneysupermarket, Morgan Stanley, British Business Bank, McDonalds, Capital One, Mastercard and more. All of his shows are considered as the number one event for Black entrepreneurs, professionals, and allies of the Black community not only in the UK but also Europe too.


  • The AEO Awards is great at bringing the community and the industry all together
    Carolyn Mason
    Director, Experience Staff
  • It is so much fun to have a day out with the industry and to just talk to everyone that loves it and is so passionate about it
    Nico Stanford
    Senior Sales Manager, Olympia London
  • I wanted to congratulate you both, and the wider AEO team, on such a fantastic awards ceremony last week. I have not attended the AEO Awards for several years, and perhaps I forgot just how much of a special day it is… it was incredibly well organised, and it was such a wonderful occasion.
    Ashley Roberts
    Managing Director, CONNECT
  • What a fantastic AEO Awards last Friday; such a buzz and a brilliant afternoon all round. Thank you all for putting on such a fabulous event. What Else Events will be back next year with an even stronger case. For now, being a Finalist is a major achievement in such a competitive category.
    Tim Else
    Founder & Managing Director, What Else Events
  • It was lovely to see you and the team and we had a fantastic night thank you! Everything looked incredible and it was a great event to be part of. Thank you
    Becky Oldham
    Marketing Manager, NEC Group


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