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Lloyds Bank Small Business of the Year 2021

There is no doubt that in the last 18-24 months companies have had to innovate, adapt and be resilient in their business strategy. 

We started our journey because Black-owned businesses have historically been on the back foot. With Black Lives Matter being incredibly close to our hearts, in tandem with the impact that the coronavirus was having on our community, we launched Wakuda to give everyone the platform that they deserved to keep forward momentum during unprecedented times.

Due to our efforts in promoting independent Black-owned businesses throughout the UK, we have been recognised by Lloyds Bank and The Times, as the Small Business of the Year 2021.  

Our team has worked tirelessly to put ourselves in the best position going forwards. With over 2000 products available on our website and over 300 businesses contributing to the product listings, we are looking ahead to the future in promoting Black-owned businesses not just in the UK, but also overseas where they have found varying obstacles to success due to their heritage. 

So how has this award helped us?

Winning the competition was exciting enough. Knowing that such established and well-recognised companies such as The Times and Lloyds Bank had seen the work that we’d put in to help independent businesses was a prize in itself. 

We have been incredibly grateful to receive insightful feedback from some of the leaders at Lloyds Bank, such as Paul Gordon. He saw our passion and stated that it is our biggest contributing factor to our success. Due to this passion, we have been able to give these businesses a simple platform to set up their businesses and begin selling their products.

However, the prize for winning the competition is something that will allow us to grow as a company and drive forward our momentum in helping more brands around the world. 

Lloyds Bank and The Times partnered to provide us with a mentoring session with Kanya King, CBE – founder of MOBO, an organisation that celebrates music of black origin. 

Kanya King, CBE established the music award company MOBO in 1996. She had grown her company rapidly, and in the first three years was awarded an MBE for services to the music industry. 

The expertise that Kanya offered will give us insight and support to help us grow in a digitally centred world and achieve our aims of becoming not just a UK business, but an internationally recognised brand known for helping independent Black-owned businesses. 

One of our co-founders, Albert Larter, layered the importance of our impact on Black-owned businesses and hopes that the insight given by Kanya King will help us to follow in the footsteps of the growth MOBO experienced. 

We look forward to continuing building our valued partnerships with key figures to carry on creating a positive impact, move into the international market and continue to promote independent Black-owned businesses. 

Thank you to Lloyds Bank, The Times and especially to Kanya King for all of the support that they have given us to continue our dreams of helping others.

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