Chair and Co-Founder
Passionate about equal access and opportunity, Melanie started the Black British Business Awards to reflect the outstanding achievements and contributions of black business people to the UK economy. For her, these awards are a collaborative, wholly inclusive set of programmes that highlights inspiring role models, challenges out-dated stereotypes, and most importantly, is a vehicle for economic empowerment, equality and change.
Melanie graduated from University of Toronto with majors in Philosophy, Political Science and French and the recipient of the Gordon Cressy Leadership Award. She moved to London to complete her Masters Degree in Philosophy from Birkbeck, University of London and is now a professor of Leadership & Management, and Business Strategy.
Melanie Eusebe is an award winning business strategist, working with clients to identify strategic priorities and initiatives for revenue generation and sustainable growth.
Fresh out of university, Melanie worked at Canada’s largest financial service institution, progressing quickly from Business Analyst to Manager of the Internet Channels. She moved to London and became a Big 4 Management Consultant and business advisor to aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as running strategic commercial initiatives and projects for global brands. In 2014, she launched The Black British Business Awards – the largest awards programme of its kind, endorsed by Prime Minister May, the Mayor of London and esteemed business leaders. Alongside being the Chair of the Black British Business Awards, Melanie was also the Executive Producer for the Women of the World Festival (WoW) a global gender equality festival occurring with over 2 million women in 50 cities over 5 continents. Melanie now has her own strategic consultancy, working with businesses on strategic initiatives and she also runs an online school for aspiring leaders.
Melanie has been recognised by several publications for her work across UK industry. She has featured in the lists of 200 women influencers in the creative industry, 100 Black Leaders in Media, and 50 top women speakers in the UK. A champion of business, the creative industries, and diversity, Melanie is a board member of the Creative Industries Federation and has been a member of the judging panel for the Start Up Awards, Red Woman of the Year Awards, The National Inclusion Standard and the We Are the City awards. Melanie has been featured in The Evening Standard, Management Today, Red Magazine, the Telegraph and she has featured on Sky News, BBC News, CBC News, and many more. Recognised by the Queen for her work, Melanie has been profiled as one of the most influential women in Business and the Creative Industries in the UK.
Co-Founder and Chair of the Judging Panel
Sophie is an award winning international corporate finance lawyer. She is passionate about inspiring future leaders and defying stereotypes by recognising, celebrating and shining a light on the often unsung outstanding professional and commercial achievements of individuals of African and Caribbean heritage worldwide.
Sophie is an Executive Director and Global COO of Morgan Stanley’s Shared Services and Banking Operations.
Prior to that, she was EMEA CAO of Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division. Previously, as Head of Group Treasury (Legal) at Virgin Money, she executed strategic M&A and corporate finance activity, including the acquisition of Northern Rock, the flotation of Virgin Money and other deals in excess of £13billion. Prior to this, she was a Senior Associate at global firm Baker McKenzie, advising clients such as NIKE, The Body Shop and Macquarie Bank.
Sophie is a recipient of many industry awards and has featured in various publications including Management Today, the Financial Times and Sunday Times. She has featured in the 100 Women to Watch Supplement of the Female FTSE Board Report and in the EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List, presented by the FT in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and has served on the Boards of Trustees of Sentebale and Protimos. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry to support children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Protimos supports development lawyers in resource rich emerging economies.
Sophie is Co-Chair of Morgan Stanley’s African and Caribbean Business Alliance. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) – the preeminent African American membership organisation committed to increasing the number of black executives in c-suites and corporate boards in global enterprises. She serves on the Global Expansion Committee of the ELC. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the 30% Club and is Co-founder of the Black British Business Awards – the only premium awards programme of its kind in the UK, endorsed by Prime Minister May, the Mayor of the City of London and prominent business leaders.