News / Black Professionals Network

Bristol’s Black Professionals Network launches economic empowerment event

By ellie pipe, Thursday Jul 16, 2020

Leading experts will be participating in an online event to engage and empower black and ethnic minority professionals in the region’s economic recovery process.

The aim is to address some of the opportunities and challenges in the labour market as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis and help businesspeople to navigate these and secure the tools to rise up in their chosen fields.

The Black Professionals Network (BPN) is hosting the free, virtual event on Tuesday, July 28, which will feature a panel of speakers, including Joanna Abeyie MBE, the founder and CEO of Blue Moon.

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Established in 2019 by Babbasa CEO Poku Osei and senior commercial manager at EDF Frank Arko-Tharkor, the network set out to provide services that enable black and ethnic minority professionals to connect and influence the workplace in the South West and beyond.

Frank Arko-Tharkor and Poku Osei launched the Black Professionals Network in 2019

Described by mayor Marvin Rees as “a really positive contribution to our city’s commercial and civic life”, the organisation has the vision to create a world where all members feel inspired, achieve excellence and reach their full potential.

Speaking ahead of the virtual event, Poku said: “It’s true that the Covid pandemic has disproportionately impacted on black and ethnic minority people, but the crisis also presents a set of opportunities going forward.

“As an organisation set up to inspire excellence and encourage inclusion at the workplace, I believe we have a responsibility to bring to bear the options available to individuals; in terms of career progression, career change and wealth management for the greater good.”

The event will also discuss suggestions of what attendees can do to help sustain and progress in their career roles or increase their household income through the recovery phase.

Stephen Bashford, the director of Business & Skills at the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), is among the confirmed speakers, with Rondette Smith, executive director at Goldman Sachs, and Mohammed Saddiq, the CEO of Wessex Water, also potentially featuring.

The online event will help attendees navigate some of the opportunities and challenges in the labour market as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis

The economic empowerment event takes place on Tuesday, July 28 from 6pm to 7.30pm. Find out more information and register to attend via

All photos by Olumedia

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