ENTREPRENEURS have joined forces with KPMG to inspire the next generation of Black business leaders in Scotland.
As part of Black History Month, the leading professional services firm has launched MAKE History. The campaign aims to bring Scotland’s Black Heritage community together to learn from each other and motivate younger people to become future business leaders.
The campaign was launched at an event at KPMG’s Aberdeen offices, featuring a panel of experts, including, Doctor Ollie Folayan, who heads up The Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) in Scotland, celebrated local entrepreneur Pete Preston, and Darbie Onugha who is a member of KPMG’s Shadow Board in Scotland.
Dr. Folayan commented: “The leadership of various companies, particularly multinationals, are starting to put a focus, not just on gender diversity, but also now on ethnic diversity, and it’s that sort of push from leadership that is beginning to make more and more companies realise that when you look at diversity, you’ve got to look at all forms, if you’re going to address any one part, because no group is completely homogenous. Because of that, I’ve started to see, especially in the last few years, greater corporate emphasis on ethnic diversity, and I think that’s driving more and more individual groups to come out of the woodwork and to start to work positively together.”
Entrepreneur, Pete Preston, moved to Scotland several years ago and has championed stronger inter-community links and greater celebration of the country’s diversity.
Pete added: “I feel that all cultures really should feed off each other, in the sense that everybody learns, and with much learning comes much understanding, and if you understand whoever is in your community, be it an immigrant, or whoever, I feel it just makes for a better working society.”
The MAKE History event was organised by Lolu Olufemi, Manager in Global Mobility Services, at KPMG.
Lolu said: “When it comes to Black History Month, it’s really important to reflect on the past and think about the heroes that have gone before, but really what we wanted to do with this event was inspire a new generation of people to make history. No matter their age or stage of life, we’ve all got an opportunity to make history and make a positive impact on society.
“I think it’s one thing to say that you want to have a diverse workforce, but I also think there’s a role that we in business can play in inspiring people from BAME backgrounds to want to come into this workforce, so this is us trying to do something to offer that inspiration to people.”