Tskenya-Sarah Frazer Talks … AQTO: Black British Businesses

Tskenya-Sarah Frazer is an award-winning diversity, inclusion and sustainability specialist.

For nine years, Fraser has implemented equitable and profitable strategic roadmaps that ensure diversity and inclusion underpins all functional areas of businesses across global public, private and third sectors spanning the globe. She has acted as an advisor to King Charles and the government, through her work with the Prince’s Trust International Youth Entrepreneurship Board.

Fraser is also an award-winning business owner who has been featured in Forbes, Vogue and more. As an advocate of further representation of neurodiverse, disabled and minoritised groups within businesses, entrepreneurship and venture capital we spoke to this dynamic creative about her book AQTO: British Black Businesses

Please introduce yourself …

Tskenya-Sarah Frazer, (she/her).

Please share a word or sentence which best describes your life right now …

Just getting started.

How did you come about A Quick Ting On, and what were your initial thoughts on writing on Black British Business?

I met Magdalene Abraha, writer, publisher and the creator of the A Quick Ting On … series at Ace Hotel (RIP) and we discussed a lot. Initially, it was Black British Fashion Business, but we agreed that the conversation was so much more expansive than that, and there it was created A Quick Ting On: Black British Businesses.

There are a number of personal anecdotes from leading entrepreneurs including Sharmadean Reid MBE, and Oswald Boateng OBE, how did you get them involved in the projects and whose words of wisdom were the most insightful?

I knew Ozwald Boateng from Prince’s Trust fundraising and Sharmadean from all the fantastic things she does in venture capital. All the people I reached out to were either referrals or through traditional social media. Everyone was super supportive and willing to contribute – which was amazing because the book is unique and will hopefully be the start of many books documenting Black British business.

You also had the last-ever interview with Jamal Edwards OBE a brilliant entrepreneur and someone you considered a close friend. How important was it for you to have this interview as part of this book and do his words take on a newer meaning since his passing?

It is everything to me. I actually have the interview recorded and listen back to it when I miss him. He was a delight to so many of us, and everyone who knew him has a story of how he helped or supported them. That is truly a legacy. His words meant a lot to me when he was alive and they resonate the same now. I always knew how lucky I was to have him as a friend.

As a business owner and sustainable specialist, what was it like writing a book for the first time?

Secretly, I have always been a writer, but my main passion is fiction. I hope one day for those stories to be published too. This writing process taught me so much about myself and tested my neurodivergence to its limits. I think it has taught me to lean in and just put my thoughts down on a page – which I am so grateful for. I feel more liberated for it.

Your book is one of a series covering topics from the black afro girl to Afrobeats, what has your experience of working adjacent to other young Black British writers for A Quick Ting On … been like?

Honestly, being part of a series with such esteemed influencers, writers, commentators and creatives has been a privilege; and getting to make history with them is Top 10.

A Quick Ting On collective (clockwise): Tskenya-Sarah Frazer, Franklyn Addo, Sophia Tassew, Chanté Joseph, Christian Adofo, Magdalene Abraha, Rui Da Silva and Tobi Kyeretmateng. Not pictured: Zainab Kwaw-Swazy. Image Credit: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

Highs, lows, solutions …

As someone who is autistic and has ADHD, I think the biggest thing was accepting how my brain works. It is okay to work or write maniacally for three days and not return to the work for four months. I want neurodivergent people like me to know that they can do anything they want, they just have to do it their way!

GETTING TO KNOW YOU…

What are you reading right now?

Rosewater – Liv Little.

What are you listening to right now?

Renaissance by Beyoncé is on repeat because the concert is coming up.

What are you watching right now?

The Consultant, From and Fatal Attraction. Watch those series, and you will have a little preview into what my future fiction will be like.

What is the last thing you saw on stage?

Cirque Du Soleil, I go every single year in different countries.

What’s on your bucket list?

Live to 102 years old.

Celebrate someone else …

Every single Black woman who is striving to do better and be better.

Whose footsteps are you following in?

I am sashaying to my own beat on the path my ancestors laid for me.

What’s next?

Another book maybe? Another business? Quitting my job and going into interior design? Who knows, that is the power of ADHD.

Where can we find you?

I have a very unique name, so pop it into Google and my whole life (every social platform) will come up.

Where can we find A Quick Ting on: Black British Business?

In your local bookstore. And if not, make sure to head to Waterstones.

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