“My desire and drive is to leave a legacy that will support the progression of my community, in particular women and young people.” Adwoa Agyemang
“When you understand that your purpose in Life is connected to many lives and your success will unlock doors for many people now and the future, then you will understand who I am”. Adwoa Agyemang
Adwoa Agyemang is an Award Winning Social Entrepreneur, Visionary Leader, Social Innovator and Change Agent, who sees the big picture and thinks strategically to make things happen. She is an inspirational, motivated, talented and committed young woman.
Adwoa is the founder of Ghanaian Londoners (GL), which is a social enterprise which aims to unlock the potential of individuals with a core focus on enterprise education & networking for community development.
She is also CEO of Fawohodie Designs, which is a fashion and Lifestyle company that focuses on exploring the beauty of African Prints/other materials with the main aim of investing in Africa and creating jobs.
In November 2010, Adwoa launched WE [Women in Enterprise] which is an annual awards initiative which celebrates successful women in business and community development as well as encouraging entrepreneurism among young women.
Adwoa launched “Precise Marketing Solutions”, which is a marketing and Events company in January 2005 to help businesses with their advertising and marketing needs, providing creative and innovative solutions for businesses, which are built on strategic planning and implementation.
She has a background and experience in marketing, media, travel and tourism, retail and prior to setting up her various projects and businesses, she worked in the media Industry producing and presenting TV programmes with focus on African History and African Independence celebrations and its significant to our modern times.
Adwoa is a passionate Ghanaian-British who embraces both cultures, and a Global African and feels strongly about the empowering Africans, especially the young generation and women to achieve their fullest potential both home and abroad.
She is on a mission through her businesses to inspire everyone, especially every young woman/person to have a dream and a vision.
Dreams that will help them reach their highest potential as individuals with their great talents and also tap into the resources that already exist around them.
Adwoa is also a mentor and very proactive with many charitable organisations.
Adwoa graduated as a Fellow from School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) having completed a year learning programme in March 2011.
Adwoa has broken down barriers to become one of the most inspirational young women in London and is on a mission to make a positive global impact.
Alison is the Founder of development charity Lively Minds. Since setting up the charity in 2008 Alison's changed the lives of over 5,200 children living in poverty in rural Northern Ghana. Alison was inspired to set up Lively Minds following a two-month trip to Ghana where she saw how children living in poverty weren't getting basic educational opportunities that we take for granted here in the UK and are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty.
On her return to the UK she couldn't get the issues she'd seen in Ghana out of her head and decided to take a year’s unpaid career break to travel there independently and try to make a difference. She started something very simple in the village where she was staying: an educational Play Centre for pre-school children to reach children at an early age – the critical time when the foundations for future learning are built. She wanted to help the village help themselves - so she trained women and teenagers to run the Play Centre themselves. She was introduced to a local teacher, David Abukari, who helped her set up the initial Play Centres. Having seen its impact, the neighbouring village then requested a Centre, then another and so on. Seeing the immediate benefit to children and the community, David asked to continue and expand the work - Lively Minds was born!
Since then Alison has spent the last 4 years running Lively Minds as a volunteer alongside her job as a government lawyer - using her free time and holidays to visit Lively Mind's teams in Ghana (and also in Uganda where there are projects too). Though Lively Minds is a UK based charity Alison wanted to ensure the in-country team were local staff who could truly engage with communities.
There are now 5 staff members in Tamale and Bolgatanga and over the last 4 years they have trained over 540 community members across Northern Ghana to run 24 Play Centres and 4 Reading Schemes - helping to change the lives of over 1,100 children ever year. In 2009 Lively Minds was nominated in the Best New Charity category for the Charity Times Award, and last year Alison was awarded the prestigious Civil Service award for volunteering - a testimony to the quality of her programmes. David was also last year shortlisted for a change maker award in Ghana. Alison has left a lasting legacy in these Ghanaian communities where the programmes have been set up and over the next few years, as the charity continues to expand and grow, thousands more children and their communities will benefit too.
Amma Anane-Agyei is the daughter of Nicholas Anane-Agyei who was the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister during the Kwame Nkrumah government. The oldest of six children, she was born in Dormaa Ahenkro and later moved to London where she now resides with her husband, a retired law lecturer and four children.
Her father acknowledging her innate potentials guided her towards a career in Child Care. Her work subsequently commenced in the social welfare department in Ghana which she further developed in the UK. This background gave her the impetus in the formation of the African Families Service in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This service to date remains the only service with expertise and focus solely on safeguarding Black African Children and Families in the statutory sector and in the African community in the UK.
She continues to work towards the holistic development of the Black African Child in the United Kingdom (UK). This involves the full participation of the community, professionals, faith and community leaders and people directly or indirectly involved with the child in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child.
To achieve this aim Amma organises workshops to enhance the knowledge of the local community on safeguarding and child protection issues. She is of the view No child can be protected without the full understanding of the community as to what constitutes ill-treatment of a child.
She trains professionals in the statutory sector on how to engage Black African children and families and equally enhancing the knowledge and skills of professionals who work with Black African children and families ensuring that they are mindful of the relevance of cultural competences in their work with Black Africans.
She also works as a consultant and as a registered expert witness assessor who is instructed by courts on high-profile cases.
Her mission is to ensure the African society in the UK that is knowledgeable about the child care laws of the society they live in, leading to a reduction in the number of black African children in the statutory institutions in the UK.
The African Families Service was formed due to Amma’s concern of the increased number of Black African children in the statutory institutions in the UK.
Lorraine Wright, the founder of University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY), is a graduate, who obtained a First Class Bachelors of Science Degree from Brunel University in Information Systems (2009). Currently, Lorraine is working as Associate Director at an Investment Bank.
During university, Lorraine was an active member of the Brunel community, having fulfilled various roles such as the Liaison Officer for the Brunel Entrepreneurs society and the Brunel African Caribbean Society, a Senior Student Mentor and Student Representative to name but a few. Since leaving university Lorraine has made countless trips back to Brunel in order to inspire current students, informing them on how to graduate at the top and enter into the corporate and business world. In 2010, Lorraine was named in Powerful Media’s “Future Leaders 2010” Powerlist which profiled 30
of Britain’s Brightest and most promising graduates/students of African and Afro-Caribbean origin for her academic and community achievements.
As a result of her University experiences and her experience in founding and managing a community gospel choir in South West London, Lorraine was empowered to start up an organisation alongside her day job- University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY) as a way of providing others with the opportunity to form communities through music, develop mutual bonds of encouragement and form lifelong relationships during, what she terms, “one of the most character defining 3-4 years of one’s life”(University).
Together with a dedicated team of 14, the organisation provides an unprecedented platform for University Gospel Choirs across the UK to develop and showcase their musical abilities. Launched in 2011, UGCY an annual competition that aims to brings together talented and diverse individuals through music, encouraging them to strive for excellence and exceed their own limitations, whilst inspiring the young and old in all walks of life.
Their annual shows have the backing of the Mayor of London, MP David Lammy -Shadow higher education and the Minister for Culture and Creative Industries – Ed Vaizey to name but a few. In 2011, the finals of UGCY, which took place in London’s West End featured over 300 performers from 8 different Universities. Since their launch, UGCY has gone from strength to strength where they have since worked with the last series of the X Factor, providing some of their finalists’ choirs to support the X Factor contestants on a number of occasions. Their involvement culminated into supporting the finalist contestants live at Wembley Arena in front of 10,000 people and millions more on the TV! See one of their performances here:
Their 2012 show once again featured 8 finalist choirs from across the UK and been featured via mainstream media outlets such as BBC Radio 2 and look forward to some VERY special performances coming up! UGCY thrives itself on encouraging and empowering University students to set up and/or maintain their own gospel choirs in all of the UK’s higher education institutions – contributing to developing musical abilities, a community spirit and encouraging students to develop the enterprise, leadership and organisational skills that are highly sort after amongst graduate recruiters. Some of our choirs have even gone on to win Society of the Year at their Universities and have credited UGCY for their successes.
Above all, Lorraine plans to partner UGCY choirs with underprivileged children to inspire them and develop their musical abilities.
Asides from the main UGCY event, the team will be partnering with Westfield Stratford on September 22nd to uplift London during the London week of peace and a year on from the London Riots where they plan to bring 1000+ youth together in a bid to break a world record for the largest Gospel Choir in the world.
Not only is Lorraine giving back to the community in the UK she is also doing so in Ghana where she is sponsoring a child.