The Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE) 2021

Winners of DBACE 2021 announced, highlighting young leaders in business creating positive social change today.

The Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE), in collaboration with MeWe360, announce the winning five young change-makers forging a path of positive social impact in creative enterprise. The winners will be awarded business investment capital from a collective prize fund of £60,000 and a £100,000 value of bespoke mentorship to develop their vision.

The DBACE winners are each selected for their innovative business models that have a genuine positive social impact. The 2021 winners are:

  • Neba Sere, Selasi Setufe and Akua Danso, Co-Directors of Black Females in Architecture (BFA), a social enterprise and global membership organisation with almost 400 members offering shared knowledge, advice, guidance, access to the personal networks, job opportunities and more.

  • Jameisha Prescod, Founder of You Look Okay To Me, an online space for the chronic illness community. The platform aims to expand into a film production company, telling more stories about how illness, race and cultural identities collide.

  • Nahum McLean, Founder of African Diaspora Dance Association (ADDA), an organisation aiming to expand the curriculums and the training of dances that fall under the African Diaspora.

  • Ameenah Begum, Founder of Cos Colours, repurposes waste produced by the cosmetics industry by upcycling make-up into watercolour paint.

  • Charlie Blair, Founder of The Blair Academy, reaching over 5000 people across care and community settings so far, the Academy combats loneliness and promotes the improvement of physical and mental health through hip hop dance.


Since 1993, through DBACE, Deutsche Bank has overseen the launch of over 220 ventures, helping young visionaries bring their ideas to life as one of the longest running creative enterprise programmes. The awards are open UK-wide and aim to cultivate young talent aged 18-30, providing them with start-up capital, bespoke business support and expert mentors.

Recognising the increasing need to empower young innovators, both during and in the wake of the pandemic, the awards nurture the potential of tomorrow’s creative entrepreneurs to make positive change in a time of great social and economic uncertainty. In foregrounding accessibility, the awards also seek to allow as many young people, regardless of their background or the stage of their business, the opportunity to progress.

The 2021 iteration of DBACE saw nearly 400 applications operating across a myriad of sectors including fine art, design, fashion, architecture, theatre and dance demonstrating the astounding calibre of creative entrepreneurs in the UK today.

From the shortlisted applicants, the winners were selected following a series of pitch presentations to an illustrious judging panel of leading figures from creative industries and business. The panel includes: Kevin Osborne, Founder and CEO, MeWe360; Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR, Deutsche Bank; Sam Barcroft, Media Entrepreneur and consultant; Suhair Khan, Founder of Open/Ended Design, Strategist at Google. and Tobi Oredein, Founder and CEO, Black Ballad and DBACE 2019 winner.

On behalf of Deutsche Bank, Lareena Hilton says:

“The creative industries remain one of the hardest hit from the pandemic, and yet despite the challenge the leaders and thinkers who make up the sector are adapting their businesses to be resilient to the impact. We are proud to celebrate and support these innovators through DBACE year on year. Sitting at the heart of Deutsche Bank’s social responsibility strategy within our Made For Good social enterprise pillar, the awards receive hundreds of applications and the competition is fierce. We’ve recognised the quality of ventures and ideas increasing year on year, which is why we upped the prize fund by an extra £10k to a £60k prize pot for the 5 winners, alongside bespoke business support from our excellent partners MeWe360. This year’s breadth of creativity and drive for positive social impact combined with potential for leadership gives reason to be optimistic about the road ahead for our winners.”

One of Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility Made for Good flagships, this marks the third year of DBACE working with MeWe360, a not for profit incubator helping creatives develop thriving enterprises. Offering an inclusive approach that strives for a more equitable and representative creative sector, MeWe360 commits to equipping creative talent with the tools to realise their full potential as industry leaders.

On behalf of MeWe360, Kevin Osborne says:

“Now in our third year of partnership with Deutsche Bank in delivering and helping to shape the DBACE programme, it is with great excitement that we welcome the five DBACE 2021 winners to our 12-month incubator programme. Alongside the funding awarded, our individually tailored business support, access to networks and peer learning are critical to help ensure the five winners’ enterprises come to fruition. We look forward to seeing these individuals flourish as creative changemakers.”

During their recent years of collaboration MeWe360 and DBACE have fostered the launch of many emerging business leaders. Previous winners include: Bethany Williams, Founder of Bethany Williams London, a recycled and organic material led clothing brand, has participated in London Fashion Week, was a finalist of the 2021 Woolmark Prize and received the 2021 BFC Vogue Fashion Fund. Anthony Daulphin, Founder of Standing Ovation Project, an enterprise that works to empower the youth of today through the arts and has already contributed to the lives of more than 2,000 pupils. Karen Jelenje, Founder of Activate the City! A community engagement agency involving young people in urban development, has piloted her first project and has been selected as a Design Council Expert.