About Me

My Story

Hi There,

I’m Sophie Marie Bennett, and I wear many hats – from being an entrepreneur to a dedicated mother of three wonderful daughters. You might know me as the brains behind Black Owned Birmingham CIC, where I’m all about making a difference.

I left school with no GCSES, and I now have 3 degrees, including my Masters Degree in Management and Entrepreneurship. My entrepreneurial journey started with my first business at 20, selling virgin hair extensions, fast forward to 24 and I opened a Hair Salon & Training Academy, I then ran my own business consultancy from the age of 27, and launched Black Owned Birmingham at 29.


At Black Owned Birmingham CIC, my goal is simple: I want to give black-owned businesses in our city the boost they deserve. It’s about leveling the playing field and making sure everyone has the tools to succeed. And let me tell you, it’s a mission I’m truly passionate about.But my work doesn’t stop there. I’m deeply involved in my community, whether it’s mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs, standing up for what’s right, or lending a hand to local charities.

I am the A&R for Defenders Ent, a record label that has been shaping creative culture and gaining worldwide recognition since its establishment in 2001, where I oversee the discovery and development of talented artists.

I launched The Annual Black Owned Birmingham Awards in 2022. It’s not just an event; it’s a celebration of our community and the amazing black-owned businesses that make it thrive. From grassroots companies to established entrepreneurs, we’re here to recognise and uplift them all.

A school governor and part of the Birmingham Black Business Show advisory board keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And then there’s family – the heart of everything I do. I’m a firm believer that family comes first, and I make sure my girls know the importance of giving back and getting involved.

I’m also the driving force behind the SHEO Chamber, a dynamic hub where female entrepreneurs unite to envision big dreams and turn them into reality. With 14 years experience and three business degrees to my name, I’d say I’ve gathered some valuable insights into navigating the business landscape.

So, whether it’s championing diversity, listening with upcoming artists, supporting local businesses, or empowering women, count me in. Together, we can make a real difference.

Recognition and Awards

CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION – The British Citizen Award – 2023

Best Business Excellence Award – Street Cred Awards 2023

Community Learning Award – Diversity Awards in Education 2023

  • HIGHLY COMMENDED – Entrepreneur of the Year – The Baton Awards – 2023
  • FINALIST – Social Enterprise of the Year – The Birmingham Awards – 2023
  • FINALIST – Charity of the Year – MBCC Awards – 2023
  • FINALIST – Community Champion of the Year – Birmingham Awards – 2023
  • WON – Most Inspiring Managing Director – SME News – 2022 Midlands
  • WON – Excellence Award For Black-Owned Business Support – SME News – 2022
  • FINALIST – Community Activist Of the Year – Birmingham Awards – 2021
  • FINALIST – Social Activist Of The Year – MBCC Awards – 2021

Talks, Presentations and Podcasts

Topics: Black Entrepreneurship, Community, Underrepresented Founders, Start-up Business

  • Keynote Black Owned Birmingham Awards 2023
  • Greater Birmingham Black Business Conference – 2023
  • BCU Alumni Fest – 2023
  • BCU Alumni Podcast – 2023
  • BBC Radio West Midlands – Nikki Tapper – 2023
  • Greater Birmingham Black Business Conference – 2022
  • Black Excellence In Brum – 2022
  • Making waves: Young Voices – Tag Network – 2022
  • Keynote Black Owned Birmingham Awards 2022
  • Chopshop Podcast – 2022
  • Joseph Leckie Secondary School – 2022
  • The Ultimate Guide To Exhibiting At Shows – 2022
  • Black Girl Summer – 2021
  • Stephen Lawrence Day, Birmingham Library – 2021
  • BBC Midlands Today – 2021

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