Announcement of New Chapter

The Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards) and The Network of Networks (TNON) to become part of INvolve for strategic growth and impact

The leadership of INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON are delighted to announce plans for the next stage of impact for the BBBAwards and TNON by leveraging the global profile, platform and customer reach of DEI consultancy, INvolve. Following 18 months of exploration, today we closed a deal for the BBBAwards and TNON to become part of the INvolve group.

For the past 10 years, the BBBAwards has been the only premium awards ceremony held in Britain to recognise, reward and celebrate world-class Black professionals and entrepreneurs delivering exceptional value across all business sectors in Britain. We are proud to announce this mission will continue through leveraging INvolve’s powerful campaign infrastructure and customer reach to achieve greater exposure and outcomes for our core mission of increasing the representation and inclusion of Black professionals and entrepreneurs at all decision-making levels in Britain.

For over a decade, TNON has been providing advisory solutions and products for the retention and advancement of racial minority professionals in the workplace. TNON’s products empower the Board, C-Suite, Employee Network Leaders, Allies and Human Resources and Talent Development Professionals to drive ecosystem change and create inclusive cultures that nurture high performing teams. The combination of TNON’s product offering with INvolve’s consulting expertise, global brand resonance and client network will result in an expanded suite of solutions including consultancy and advisory services, ecosystem change programmes, advocacy campaigns and talent solutions.

The leadership, brand names, strategic direction and offerings of both the BBBAwards and TNON remain the same. INvolve is committed to honouring and preserving the integrity, legacy and mission of the BBBAwards and TNON going forward. The annual BBBAwards Ceremony will take place on 11 October 2024 and will continue to grow in size and impact as a result of INvolve’s infrastructure and client network.

Dr Sophie Chandauka MBE, the BBBAwards and TNON Chair and Executive Founder said: “This is an exciting moment to be consolidating INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON. Our combined reputation, product offering, and global reach will be formidable. This deal will enable our long-term success as we overcome the headwinds of anti-DEI sentiment and navigate an increasingly polarised geopolitical environment whilst effectively addressing complex client requirements for talent attraction, retention and advancement. Suki has been a friend of mine, the BBBAwards and TNON since our inception and I cannot wait to see what we can achieve with our hugely talented teams working under one umbrella!”

INvolve’s Founder and CEO, Suki Sandhu OBE, commented: “The Black British Business Awards has been an awesome force for change, and alongside TNON has made a huge impact in the support for

Black and racial minority talent in business. As the needs of corporate clients have evolved, and the pushback on DEI initiatives in business has become more vocal, we believe that bringing these great brands together under the same roof will provide a stronger and bolder platform for driving change and helping companies realise all the benefits of diverse teams and inclusive work cultures.”

INvolve have worked with over 100 global organisations supporting inclusion for all employees, and are the publishers for the global Empower, Heroes, Outstanding and Enable Role Model Lists supported by YouTube which showcase and celebrate diverse leaders driving inclusion for others in the workplace. They were also the founder of the “If Not Now, When?” campaign for Black inclusion which committed over 80 UK CEOs from businesses representing one million UK workers to practical action in support of Black inclusion. INvolve is a sister company of Audeliss, an executive search firm which levels the playing field of diverse leaders in executive and board appointments. In 2023, 82% of Audeliss’ global appointments were from underrepresented groups, of which 49% were racial minority leaders.

The complementary fit in mission, values and demonstrable action between INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON will amplify our ability to advocate for and create equitable opportunities for Black and racial minority talent, across the UK and worldwide.

With our very best wishes

Dr Sophie Chandauka MBE

Suki Sandhu OBE

Enquiries:

If you have further questions, please contact Rose at rose@thebbbawards.com or Justin at justin.firth@involvepeople.org.

About the BBBAwards

The BBBAwards recognises the exceptional performance of Black professionals and entrepreneurs as the premier UK awards ceremony of its kind. Established in 2014, it has been endorsed by three Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and global business leaders. Over the past decade the BBBAwards have showcased over 370 individuals and 80 organisations that are championing Black excellence in business. The Awards ceremony, held annually in October, confirms the strength of the Black talent pipeline by highlighting commercial excellence of Black professionals and entrepreneurs, who stand as role models and substantial contributors to the UK economy.

About TNON

Established in 2011, TNON works with over 130 multinational corporations to transform organisational culture and practices for the purposes of optimally attracting, retaining and advancing racial minority professionals into senior executive roles. TNON does this by providing stakeholders at

all levels of the organisation with exceptional skills training and a community of support to drive systemic change and deliver race equity at work. Positive culture change comes from engaging with and enabling the full organisational ecosystem. TNON products are designed to address all levels of the business including employees, line managers, employee resource groups, human resource business partners, executive sponsors, the c-suite, boards, allies and the investor community.

TNON’s programmes enable companies and their leadership teams to disrupt and transform formal and informal systems that hinder the ability of UK companies to retain and promote racial minority professionals into senior roles. TNON delivers sustained impact through its comprehensive solutions for inclusive leadership and talent retention and acceleration.

These initiatives deliver value to a growing network of significant multinational corporations including Bloomberg, Barclays, Cisco, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, L’Oréal, Morgan Stanley, P&G, Ralph Lauren, Shell, Virgin, Visa and Wellington Management to name a few.

About INvolve

INvolve is a consultancy and global network that enables leaders and change makers to build more successful and empowering organizations where everyone can thrive and belong.

Founded in 2013 by Suki Sandhu OBE, a globally recognized expert in talent, diversity and inclusion, INvolve transforms workplaces and mindsets through the delivery of programs, thought leadership and advisory solutions to help firms live their values and embed cultural change.

INvolve’s specialists have worked with over 100 global organizations spanning a wide range of industries with data-driven recommendations and cultural transformation strategies to dismantle barriers to progress and drive sustainable business success. They also publish annual role model lists, supported by YouTube, recognizing and celebrating business leaders and future leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and inspiring the next generation of diverse talent.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the acquisition happening now?

a. The senior leadership teams of INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON have been exploring opportunities for strategic growth and impact whether independently, through venture capital funding or acquisition for a number of years.

b. Following 18 months of deliberation and due diligence involving the senior leaders of the three businesses, it became obvious that the consolidation of INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON would create formidable enterprise to drive impact at scale in the race equity corporate arena globally.

c. Consolidating INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON will ensure economies of scale and greater operational capacity. The combination of these businesses will enable our long-term success as we overcome the headwinds of anti-DEI sentiment and navigate an increasing polarised geopolitical environment whilst effectively addressing complex client requirements for talent attraction, retention and advancement.

2. Will Dr Sophie Chandauka MBE, the Chair and Executive Founder of the BBBAwards and TNON remain involved in the businesses and if so in what capacity?

a. Sophie will remain Chair and Executive Founder of the BBBAwards and TNON.

b. She will be highly involved with providing strategic support throughout the integration and beyond.

c. She will also assume the new role of Deputy Chair of INvolve working closely with Suki Sandhu OBE and the existing INvolve leadership team.

3. Will there be changes regarding team members who manage TNON and BBBAwards clients?

a. There is no planned change of client support staff for TNON, BBBAwards or indeed INvolve.

b. We do see opportunities to enrich product offerings to clients from each of the respective businesses, and so we will look at each client request on a case-by-case basis to see where the best expertise lies.

4. As a client, which company will I now be working with?

a. The BBBAwards and TNON will remain the legal entities and relationship partners for existing and prospective clients.

5. What will happen to jobs across the combined business?

a. There are no planned job losses as a result of the deal.

6. Will there be any branding or name changes for TNON and the BBBAwards?

a. There are no planned changes to the BBBAwards or TNON brand names.

7. How will the acquisition benefit our current clients and community?

a. Clients will benefit from an increased range of products and services to advance and retain racial minority talent and an expanded pool of subject-matter experts. Our community will benefit from our increased exposure and reach in our advocacy efforts globally.

8. Will there be changes to the TNON race equity forums and learning and development programmes?

a. There are currently no planned changes to TNON programmes.

9. Will there be any changes to the Black British Business Awards?

a. The Black British Business Awards will continue to grow in impact as a result of the deal.

10. Are there plans to integrate INvolve’s additional equity focus on gender, LGBTQ+ and disability with our existing racial equity programmes?

a. INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON have always taken an intersectional approach to campaigning and product development, so this will not change. The BBBAwards and TNON will continue to keep their focus and expertise in racial equity.

11. What measures are being put in place to maintain the integrity of our current programmes?

a. The leadership team of TNON, the BBBAwards and INvolve will work methodically during the integration period to rationalise the combined portfolio of products with the goal of reattaining the structural and content integrity of the best performing products and exploring areas of enrichment.

12. How will the acquiring organisation ensure that TNON’s focus on racial minorities’ retention and development and the BBBAwards continued support of Black professionals and entrepreneurs is not diluted?

a. INvolve is committed to increasing, not diluting the focus on Black talent in the workplace, which was a key driver for this acquisition. INvolve aims to accelerate the BBBAwards’ and TNON’s existing track record of success through knowledge-sharing and resource-building. Integration plans will focus on retaining the BBBAwards’ unique positioning and impact within the Black British community.

13. How will the acquisition impact the ever-relevant support for racial minorities and the Black community?

a. INvolve is committed to increasing, not diluting the focus on racial minority talent in the workplace, which was a key driver for this acquisition. The combination of operational capacity with INvolve will increase the BBBAwards’ and TNON’s reach, profile and delivery excellence, ensuring accelerated outcomes for their clients and community.

14. Are there new resources or solutions that will be introduced to clients as part of the integration? Will clients have access to new services or networks?

a. Absolutely. We expect to rationalise and enhance our client offering and will announce changes as they are developed by the teams.

15. Can you provide examples of the acquiring organisation’s previous work in diversity, equity and inclusion, especially regarding race equity?

a. INvolve’s Empower Role Model Lists first published in 2016 and now supported by YouTube showcases and celebrates business leaders and their advocates who are driving inclusion for racial minority leaders and talent.

b. INvolve founded the “If Not Now, When?” campaign in 2020 for Black inclusion which committed over 80 UK CEOs, representing one million UK workers, to practical action in support of Black inclusion within their businesses.

c. INvolve’s RISE talent development programme has been implemented within several organisations since 2020, with a focus on the professional development of Black employees through tailored workshops, and engagement with their line managers. They have also worked with many clients on listening sessions, strategy development, trainings and programmes centred on the advancement of Black employees.

d. INvolve are a sister-company of Audeliss, an Executive Search firm which levels the playing field of diverse leaders in executive and board appointments. 82% of Audeliss’ global appointments in 2023 were from underrepresented groups, including 49% of senior appointments being racial minority individuals.

16. Will there be any changes to pricing, contracts or agreements?

a. There are no plans to change BBBAwards and TNON client contracts, and existing agreements will be honoured.

17. Do you foresee any potential conflict between the wider DEI focus of INvolve and the race equity agenda?

a. We are committed to continuing to spotlight the talents, achievements and challenges faced by Black and racial minority individuals in the workplace.

b. We also see the opportunity of addressing matters of diversity, equity and inclusion through an intersectional lens. Research shows the importance of an approach which is inclusive and shows awareness of individuals’ intersecting identities.

c. We firmly believe that while advocacy campaigns for LGBTQ+ and racial diversity have historically operated separately and benefit from individualised attention, these campaigns are not in conflict, but rather highlight the necessity for recognising the how groups experience differentiated outcomes and therefore different interventions and approaches may be required to ensuring fair and equitable outcomes in the workplace.

18. Do you foresee any risks to this acquisition?

a. We do not forsee any material risks.

b. Our foremost priority is to give the BBBAwards and TNON team, clients and community support and assurance regarding our commitment to honouring and

preserving the integrity, legacy and mission of the BBBAwards and TNON in all strategic decisions going forward.

c. We also obviously recognise the need to seamlessly integrate our teams and the need to clearly communicate our plans to clients and our broader community of support.

19. How long has this deal been under consideration?

a. The senior leadership teams of INvolve, the BBBAwards and TNON have been exploring opportunities for strategic growth and impact whether independently, through venture capital funding or acquisition for a number of years. This deal has been under consideration by all parties for 18 months.

20. How can clients and the community contact TNON and the BBBAwards with questions regarding the acquisition?

a. If you have further questions, please contact Rose at rose@thebbbawards.com or Justin at justin.firth@involvepeople.org.