Celebrating Diversity and Innovation: Top UK LGBTQ+ Founders Leading the Way in Tech and Beyond

Discover the inspiring stories of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs making a significant impact in their industries and driving positive change in the UK startup scene.

10 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • WERKIN, a champion of LGBTQ+ representation, highlights the achievements of UK LGBTQ+ founders, promoting diversity and inclusivity in the business world.
  • The list showcases a diverse range of industries, including fintech, media, healthcare, recruitment, investment, and more, where LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are making waves.
  • These founders are breaking barriers, revolutionizing industries, and empowering marginalized communities by creating innovative solutions and fostering inclusive workplace cultures.
  • By recognizing and celebrating LGBTQ+ founders year-round, we inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs and encourage organizations to create more equitable and inclusive professional environments.
  • The stories of these LGBTQ+ founders highlight the importance of representation, resilience, and the power of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and positive change.
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Introduction: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs and Diversity in UK Startups

The UK startup scene is renowned for its vibrant and innovative spirit. It’s a landscape where entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and walks of life come together to create groundbreaking solutions, disrupt industries, and shape the future. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion within this entrepreneurial ecosystem. In particular, LGBTQ+ founders have emerged as trailblazers, making their mark and leading the way towards a more inclusive and diverse future.

At WERKIN, a company dedicated to promoting workplace equality and inclusivity, celebrating LGBTQ+ founders is not limited to specific times of the year. They believe it is essential to recognize and uplift these entrepreneurs continuously. Through their list of Top UK LGBTQ+ Founders, WERKIN aims to shed light on the achievements and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe, highlighting their contributions and paving the way for others to follow.

1. Asher Ismail – Empowering Founders with Uncapped

Asher Ismail, the co-founder of Uncapped, is on a mission to transform the fundraising landscape for startups. Recognizing that traditional funding options often present challenges for many businesses, Ismail aims to provide a revenue-based finance solution. Uncapped allows founders to raise growth capital without sacrificing control of their businesses. With Ismail’s expertise and dedication, Uncapped has emerged as the UK’s fastest-growing fintech company in 2021.

2. Benjamin Cohen – Amplifying LGBTQ+ Voices with PinkNews

Benjamin Cohen, founder and CEO of PinkNews, has established a powerful platform that amplifies LGBTQ+ voices. As a media expert and entrepreneur, Cohen recognized the need for a news outlet that catered to the core values and interests of the younger generations. PinkNews has become the go-to source for LGBTQ+ news and currently reaches over 100 million unique users worldwide each month. Cohen’s work has played a crucial role in increasing visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.

3. Christian Angermayer – Investing in a Better Future with Apeiron Investment Group

Christian Angermayer, founder of Apeiron Investment Group, is an entrepreneur and investor with a focus on sustainable and responsible capitalism. His investment portfolio spans diverse industries, including life sciences, fintech, AI, psychedelics, and cryptocurrencies. Angermayer’s vision centers around building companies that shape the next human agenda and contribute to global happiness. Through his investments, he promotes innovation and positive change.

4. Christopher El Badaoui – Revolutionizing Healthcare with LVNDR Health

Christopher El Badaoui is the co-founder and CEO of LVNDR Health, a fully remote digital clinic dedicated to providing holistic healthcare solutions for the LGBTQIA+ community. Understanding the unique challenges faced by queer and trans individuals when seeking healthcare, El Badaoui and his co-founder, Araxie Boyadjian, have created a platform that empowers users to take control of their health needs.

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LVNDR Health is revolutionizing the healthcare system by offering accessible, inclusive, and culturally competent care. Through their digital clinic, they provide services such as hormone therapy, sexual health support, mental health counseling, and more. By leveraging technology, LVNDR Health ensures that individuals, regardless of their location or circumstances, have access to quality healthcare that understands and respects their identities.

5. Chris King – Promoting Inclusion in the Travel Industry with Lightning Travel Recruitment

Chris King, a neurodiverse trans non-binary business leader, is the founder and CEO of Lightning Travel Recruitment. King’s vision extends beyond creating a successful travel recruitment company; they aim to send a jolt through the industry, highlighting the benefits businesses gain from embracing diversity and inclusion.

Through Lightning Travel Recruitment, King challenges the status quo and encourages travel industry leaders to prioritize inclusivity in their hiring practices. They believe that diversity drives innovation and success, and their company serves as a catalyst for positive change. By showcasing the advantages of building diverse teams, King is transforming the travel industry’s perception of inclusivity.

6. Eric Collins – Investing in Underrepresented Entrepreneurs with Impact X Capital Partners LLP

Eric Collins, founder of Impact X Capital Partners LLP, is an investor, entrepreneur, and author. Collins established Impact X as a fund dedicated to investing in diverse, underrepresented, and undiscovered entrepreneurs across Europe, with a particular focus on the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. The fund’s mission is to create extraordinary impact and change the world.

Recognizing the systemic barriers faced by marginalized communities, Collins aims to provide capital, support, and opportunities to entrepreneurs who have traditionally been overlooked by traditional investment firms. Impact X Capital Partners LLP empowers underrepresented individuals to turn their innovative ideas into thriving businesses, contributing to a more inclusive startup ecosystem.

7. Hayley Sudbury – Fostering Inclusive Workplace Culture with WERKIN

Hayley Sudbury, founder and CEO of WERKIN, is a workplace equality advocate and mentor. Recognized as one of the Top 10 LGBT+ Tech Executives alongside industry giants like Tim Cook, Sudbury has made it her mission to accelerate the careers of underrepresented groups and communities through inclusive technology, leadership, and workplace culture.

WERKIN serves as the digital standard for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the professional world. Sudbury’s platform provides personalized career development experiences, mentoring, and networking opportunities. By fostering inclusive workplace cultures, WERKIN aims to create environments where all individuals can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives and talents.

8. John Amaechi OBE – Empowering Individuals and Companies with APS Intelligence Ltd

Professor John Amaechi, a former NBA player and organizational psychologist, founded APS Intelligence Ltd, a strategic consultancy solution. Combining deep psychological insight with real-life experience, Amaechi provides guidance and support for individuals and companies looking to align their beliefs, values, and ethics for personal and professional success.

APS Intelligence serves as a touchstone for those who strive to thrive, achieve, and create positive impact. Amaechi’s consultancy empowers individuals and organizations to embrace their true potential and build strong foundations based on authenticity and purpose. Through his work, Amaechi promotes personal and professional growth, emphasizing the importance of aligning one’s beliefs and values with their actions.

As an openly gay entrepreneur, Amaechi has broken barriers and shattered stereotypes. His success and visibility in both sports and business inspire aspiring LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and challenge societal norms. Amaechi’s story demonstrates the power of resilience, self-acceptance, and authenticity in achieving greatness.

9. Joe McCanta – Championing Sustainability with Coast Drinks

Joe McCanta, a renowned global experience consultant in the food and beverage industry, is making waves as the co-founder of Coast Drinks. With a focus on environmental sustainability, McCanta aims to create a world-leading mixer brand that not only delivers exceptional taste but also contributes to the preservation of marine ecosystems.

Coast Drinks takes a stand against single-use plastics and actively supports efforts to clean up and protect our oceans. McCanta and his team are committed to developing authentic brands that make a positive difference in the fight against plastic pollution. By aiming to become carbon neutral in 2023, Coast Drinks sets an example for other companies in the industry to prioritize sustainability.

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McCanta’s dedication to creating meaningful change through his entrepreneurial endeavors showcases the power of using business as a force for good. LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs like McCanta are not only making a difference within their industries but also championing important causes that resonate with diverse communities worldwide.

10. Jupiter Lee Butz – Redefining Urban Living with District Technologies

Jupiter Lee Butz is a visionary founder at the intersection of cities and technology. They established District Technologies, a platform that facilitates community and smart building management to reduce friction for individuals using office spaces. Additionally, Butz founded Authentic Technologies, a tech studio focused on data-informed decision-making and authentic outcomes for clients.

Through District Technologies, Butz aims to transform urban living by creating spaces that foster connection, collaboration, and efficiency. By leveraging technology and data, they strive to improve the overall experience of individuals in office environments. Authentic Technologies, on the other hand, empowers clients to make informed decisions based on accurate data and authentic outcomes.

Butz’s innovative approach highlights the importance of leveraging technology to enhance the quality of life for individuals within urban settings. By combining their expertise in technology and design, Butz is reimagining the future of cities and promoting inclusive, people-centric spaces where diverse communities can thrive.

11. Lady Phyll (Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah) – Advocating for QTIPOC Communities with Black Pride

Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, known as Lady Phyll, is a pioneering activist and co-founder of Black Pride. With a focus on promoting and advocating for the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent, Black Pride has become a landmark event in Europe.

Lady Phyll’s work has significantly increased visibility and advocacy for QTIPOC (Queer, Trans, and Intersex People of Color) communities. By creating safe and inclusive spaces, Black Pride celebrates the diverse identities within the LGBTQ+ community and provides a platform for individuals to express their authentic selves.

Additionally, Lady Phyll serves as the Executive Director at Kaleidoscope Trust, a UK charity fighting for LGBT+ human rights globally. Through her various roles and initiatives, Lady Phyll is a powerful voice in the fight for equality and social justice, inspiring LGBTQ+ individuals to embrace their identities and stand up for their rights.

12. Lindsey McInerney – Bridging the Gap between Technology and Society with Black Sun Labs and Sixth Wall

Lindsey McInerney, a tech visionary and CEO of Black Sun Labs, is bridging the gap between evolving technologies and societal impact. Their expertise has been sought by Fortune 500 companies, the Royal Family, and the United Nations. McInerney is also the co-founder and CEO of Sixth Wall, an all-female crypto team affiliated with Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions.

Black Sun Labs focuses on helping people understand the impact of emerging technologies and embracing them early. By providing insights and guidance, McInerney empowers individuals and organizations to navigate the rapidly evolving technological landscape successfully. Sixth Wall, on the other hand, leverages the power of blockchain and cryptocurrency to foster innovation and drive positive change.

McInerney’s multifaceted entrepreneurial journey exemplifies the intersection of technology, social impact, and diversity. Their work demonstrates that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs have the knowledge, skills, and perspective to lead the way in shaping the future of technology and society.

13. Mary Portas – Transforming Retail and Creating Inclusive Spaces with Portas

Mary Portas, one of the UK’s most high-profile businesswomen, is making a significant impact through her company, Portas. After transforming Harvey Nichols into a fashion destination, Portas founded her creative retail consultancy with a mission to combine commercial smarts with social progress, beauty, and joy.

Portas aims to create brands, places, and spaces that people truly want in their lives. By infusing her expertise in retail and design with a deep understanding of consumer behavior, Portas pioneers inclusive and engaging retail experiences. Her work emphasizes the importance of diversity, community, and sustainability within the retail industry.

As an openly gay entrepreneur, Portas has become a role model for LGBTQ+ individuals aspiring to succeed in the business world. Her entrepreneurial journey demonstrates that authenticity, creativity, and inclusivity are key drivers of business success.

14. Nick Telson – Disrupting Sales Operations with trumpet

Nick Telson, the co-founder of trumpet and an angel investor, is no stranger to the startup world. After a successful exit from DesignMyNight, Telson has invested in over 55 startups globally through his investment arm, Horseplay Ventures. With trumpet, Telson aims to disrupt the sales operations space and revolutionize the buyer journey from cold outreach to onboarding.

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Telson’s entrepreneurial journey showcases the power of innovation and disruption. By challenging traditional sales methodologies and embracing technology, he aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of sales operations for businesses worldwide. Telson’s story inspires LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to think boldly and carve their own paths in the startup landscape.

15. Paff Evara – Empowering Diverse Creators with Take Up Space

Paff Evara, a queer, Black, and neurodivergent creator, is dedicated to inspiring others to step into their power. As the co-founder of Take Up Space, a community, media company, and network for diverse change-makers and creators, Evara aims to build a more equitable creator economy, foster healing through community, and empower BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals to take up more space.

Evara’s work centers around amplifying the voices and talents of underrepresented communities. Through Take Up Space, they provide a platform for marginalized creators to share their stories, experiences, and art. Evara’s journey exemplifies the importance of representation, self-expression, and empowerment within the creative industry.

16. Rachel Murphy – Transforming Businesses with Difrent

Rachel Murphy, a venture builder and founder of Difrent, is no stranger to creating transformative impact. With a background in health tech and service design, Murphy founded, built, and sold Difrent, an award-winning digital services company, in just 1000 days. Difrent partners with Tech For Good organizations to revolutionize businesses through user-centric service design and acute delivery.

Murphy’s entrepreneurial journey highlights the power of collaboration, innovation, and user-centered design. By harnessing technology and leveraging partnerships, Murphy has successfully transformed businesses across various sectors. Her story serves as an inspiration to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs looking to create meaningful change through entrepreneurship.

17. Suki Sandhu OBE – Driving Cultural Change and Inclusion with INvolve and Audeliss

Suki Sandhu, an author and diversity and inclusion expert, is the founder of INvolve and Audeliss. These organizations are dedicated to driving cultural change, creating inclusive workplaces, and supporting organizations in helping disadvantaged communities. Audeliss is a global executive search firm that focuses on leveling the playing field for women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT+ individuals in senior positions, while INvolve is a global inclusion consulting firm championing diversity and inclusion in business.

Sandhu’s work emphasizes the power of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in driving business success and societal progress. By providing resources, training, and support, Sandhu empowers organizations to foster inclusive cultures that celebrate diversity at all levels. Sandhu’s journey demonstrates that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs can have a profound impact on society by advocating for inclusivity and equality.

Conclusion: Celebrating the Impact of UK LGBTQ+ Founders

The stories of these UK LGBTQ+ founders are a testament to their resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit. From transforming industries to championing inclusivity and sustainability, these entrepreneurs are leading the way towards a more diverse and equitable future.

Their journeys demonstrate the importance of visibility and representation for LGBTQ+ individuals within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By celebrating and recognizing the achievements of LGBTQ+ founders year-round, we inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to pursue their dreams, break down barriers, and drive positive change in their respective industries.

The UK startup scene is enriched by the contributions of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who bring unique perspectives, innovation, and a commitment to creating inclusive workplaces. Their stories highlight the power of entrepreneurship in challenging societal norms, promoting diversity, and fostering a more inclusive and equal society.

As we celebrate the achievements of these UK LGBTQ+ founders, let us continue to support and uplift LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, ensuring that their voices and experiences are heard and valued. By fostering an environment of acceptance, equality, and opportunity, we can create a thriving entrepreneurial landscape that truly represents the diversity of our society. Together, we can build a future where LGBTQ+ individuals and all underrepresented communities can thrive and shape the world through their entrepreneurial endeavors.

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