MSDUK 2022 Conference and Awards: Overview

With the dust now settling on the MSDUK 2022 Conference and Awards, we have time to reflect on yet another successful event. The MSDUK 2022 Conference and Awards took place on 7-9 September in London. This was a historic event and a grand celebration of the outstanding achievements made by our amazing ethnic minority suppliers and corporate members. From inspiring keynote speakers to outstanding business shows and dazzling award ceremony, the annual supplier diversity event has become very special for us here at MSDUK. It was a great opportunity for us all to celebrate together, inspire each other and push ourselves forward!

Day 1: International Day 

The first day of MSDUK 2022 was a huge success, with industry experts from Meta, Unilever, Accenture, and CBRE taking a deep dive into how to implement supplier diversity programmes across Europe. The discussion involved the opportunities they are trying to realise through supplier diversity and how to develop an action plan to deliver a sustainable and effective supplier diversity programme within their organisations!  Throughout the international day It was made clear that a real commitment to supplier diversity enables companies to encourage entrepreneurship in underserved, underrepresented communities which in-turn results in creating jobs, wealth, better health, and education in those disadvantaged communities.

MSDUK also had the chance to proudly announce the launch of the Minority Businesses Matter Report Europe, the most comprehensive study ever done on the effects of minority-owned companies in Europe. This report has thoroughly analysed the economic contribution Ethnic Minority Businesses make to the European economy paving the way for an increase in supplier diversity efforts by global and European companies!

Day 2: Knowledge forum

The second day of the conference “The Knowledge forum Day” was hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre. We had over 500 attendees, including C-suite executives, investors, and innovative ethnic minority businesses from across the globe. The knowledge forum day was an incredible mix of speakers, interactive workshops, and a thrilling fireside chat that inspired all in attendance.

A great session was delivered by the most influential procurement officers on how to Embed Supplier Diversity beyond procurement. They stated that incorporating supplier diversity into procurement processes can help advance any company’s sustainability agenda and a more diverse supply chain impacts the bottom line through innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability.

During the highly anticipated Fireside chat, Janice Bryant Howroyd Founder and CEO at ActOne Group discussed some of the key challenges that companies face when it comes to supplier diversity. These challenges included: finding new suppliers, ensuring they have adequate resources, implementing programmes that are effective and sustainable, ensuring compliance with current laws, managing expectations, and measuring progress!

“The benefits of supplier diversity are clear,” she said. “When we can offer opportunities to everyone, regardless of their background or experience, we are better able to meet the needs of our customers.”

Valentina Catalano, a Business Partner at Wolverine Worldwide said “For the first time in my career I felt I was in the right place and feel passionate about Supplier Diversity. All cards were on the table from all corporates, it felt that there was no competition. everyone wanted to share the best practices”.

In the course of the breakout sessions, we heard from five successful entrepreneurs, as they discuss how to scale up while embracing change and meeting customer demands. The session focused on the entrepreneurial journey of these remarkable individuals and the success and challenges that they have faced along the way. Thank you to Sid Narang, Founder of the Squa.reShashin Shah, Founder of OnepointAnju Abel, Chief Sales Officer at Lancesoft and Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones Founder of The Black Farmer for delivering a very insightful session

Furthermore, our industry experts from Unilever, Nestle, Diageo, and Intel, discussed how ESG, factors are becoming a more popular phenomenon in the world and how you can leverage ESG to achieve enhanced visibility and access to corporate supply chains.

Throughout this day we have witnessed many Ethnic Minority Businesses, procurement professionals, and supplier diversity professionals connecting, networking, and building relationships. Imran Rasul, CPO of Nationwide said that the MSDUK 2022 Conference and Awards is “Probably one of the most thought provoking and progressive conferences within the supply chain sphere this year . The growth of MSDUK has been phenomenal and for good reason. Excellent support for minority businesses and for the customer set who utilise those services”.

Innovation Challenge

This year’s MSDUK Innovation Challenge was possibly the most competitive and thrilling competition yet! We had an amazing line-up of award-winning entrepreneurs who are making the world more sustainable through their innovations! We were blown away by all the phenomenal pitches produced by our 9 incredible finalists. Our finalists have showcased disruptive technologies, fresh perspectives, and cutting-edge solutions. However, only 1 person was able to walk away with the grand prize of £20,000 and a place in Accenture Mentoring Programme!

We would like to congratulate our 2022 Innovation challenge winner Sheana Yu Founder & CEO of Aergo Health! Aergo Health is helping people around the world to live life to their fullest potential by offering smart solutions for managing posture. The Aergo PS, uses air cell technology to create a dynamic postural seating system for young wheelchair users who require additional postural support.

The MSDUK Awards Ceremony

We had over 450 attendees at our prestigious dinner awards all assembled to honour the efforts of both large corporations and ethnic minority-owned businesses in making supply chains more inclusive and competitive. Our guests were treated to a fun-packed evening of fine dining and first-class entertainment hosted by the amazing Sir Lenny henry! The winners were announced and celebrated at our glittering dinner on Thursday 8th of September in the stunning riverside surroundings of Old Billingsgate!

The winners are:

  • Established corporate Supplier Diversity programme – CBRE
  • Emerging Corporate Supplier Diversity Programme – META
  • Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year – Krystle Sands, META
  • High Growth Business of the year – Xalient
  • Entrepreneur of the year – Sherry Vaswani, Xalient
  • Business Woman of the year – Julianne Ponan, Creative Nature
  • Global Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year – Nedra Dickson, Accenture
  • Winner of the innovation Challenge – Sheana Yu – Aergo Health

All our awards photos are available for you to download and use!

Day 3: Business Show Sponsored by: Bristol Myers Squibb and enterprise rent-a-car!

The final day of the conference was a highlight for everyone. Our business show and exhibition was jam-packed with exhibitors networking and making new contacts, as well as exploring new products and services that may benefit their businesses. The exhibition floor was flooded with the most innovative Ethnic Minority Businesses and some of the largest global brands! It was so inspiring to see our members showcasing their exceptional businesses at the largest supplier diversity conference in the UK and Europe! We have witnessed so many brilliant connections being made and we are anticipating that those connections will turn into amazing success stories in the near future.

Ian from Delight Consulting said: “what a day! We got some great leads from the many conversations MSDUK helped us start. Please relay my thanks to your team for everything they did to make it so impactful.”

What did you think of the MSDUK Conference 2022 and Awards? Did you find it to be a valuable experience? Is there anything that could be changed or improved? We value your feedback, so please share your thoughts by taking this quick post-conference survey.

What’s next

Our mission is to help and support ethnic minority businesses to break through inequalities and barriers in public and private sector supply chains. To achieve this, we have been working on several exciting projects this year!

MSDUK’s Identified Database and Freelance Certification are two innovative projects that were launched during the MSDUKConference2022. 

MSDUK’s Identified Database is the largest database of Ethnic Minority Businesses (EMBs) in the UK and Europe. It contains approximately 70,000 EMBs across 600+ SIC Codes, which is 260% more than the previous database. Freelance Certification is an online platform that allows solopreneurs and freelancers to register and be digitally certified by MSDUK. This will open doors for many freelancers to accelerate and strategise their relationship with corporate procurement needs. Additionally, all our corporate members will have exclusive access to utilise a diverse range of freelancers for their smaller supplier buys.

Both projects will open significant opportunities for MSDUK and its corporate members to progress towards more diverse supplier programmesJanani Prasad, Digital Transformation Manager.

Join our freelance portal and get exposed to global brands! 

A Big Thankyou

Thank you to all those who attended the MSDUK 2022 Conference & Awards! We were so happy to see so many procurement professionals, supplier diversity professionals and innovative ethnic minority entrepreneurs coming together to network and build relationships. We are grateful for your participation in this event, which was made possible by the support of our sponsors. We also want to thank all speakers and panellists for their valuable contributions. Finally, a big thank you to our international guests for coming along and making this an amazing event.

“Without MSDUK it would probably be a lot harder in terms of business-to-business sales functions because MSDUK gave us access to get our first client, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and from there we were able to snowball.”

Julie Chen



An Introduction to MSDUK.

“The MSDUK Innovation Challenge not only helped me personally; but included Kapsule in a supportive community. In that community we found our assumptions challenged, ideas stress tested, and received invaluable advice. That’s the power of #Diversity!”

David Chen


Corporate Members

Since 2006, we have been at the forefront of driving the supplier diversity movement in the UK. Align with organisations dedicated to supplier diversity and become a part of the MSDUK community. As a member, you will connect with a network of corporate leaders who, are committed to empowering ethnic minority businesses. The companies below represent just a glimpse of our extensive corporate network.

T. +44 (0) 116 2532520

E. [email protected]

A. Studio 5, Phoenix Square,
     3 Burton Street, Leicester LE1 1TB UK

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