Service supporting victims of sexual violence crowned Business of the Year

09 December 2019

An organisation which supports people in Birmingham and Solihull who have been affected by rape, sexual assault and abuse, has been crowned Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Business of the Year.

Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP), based in Bennetts’s Hill in Birmingham, were named overall winners at the ABCC’s annual dinner and awards 2019 at the National Motorcycle Museum.  The Overall Business of the Year award was sponsored by Inspired Energy.

RSVP provides services to those who have been affected by rape and sexual abuse, focusing on individual’s needs and their personal responses to trauma.

The organisation offers a wide range of confidential services, including counselling, support via a telephone helpline and experts who support those in the LGBT community who have experienced rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse.

In the last year alone, RSVP has supported more than 10,000 children and adults, has decreased waiting times for its counselling services, and increased its outreach support, embedding its services within local communities and increasing accessibility.

RSVP were also crowned winners of the Outstanding Charity of the Year Award, sponsored by Millennium Point.

Mandy Canny, head of the judges, said: “We felt that RSVP demonstrated clear and serious commitments to their services, which are vital to the lives of so many people.

“RSVP deal with real challenge changing lives for better with limited resources and empowers individuals to take charge of their lives.                   

“They are richly deserved winners, and I would like to congratulate them and all of the other winning firms which have demonstrated excellence in their categories.”

The full list of winners include:

Outstanding Business Woman of the Year

Sponsored by Learner Engagement

  • Fiona Allan, Birmingham Hippodrome

Outstanding Contribution to Society in Business Award

Sponsored by Aston University

  • Innovating Minds CIC

Outstanding Diversity and Inclusion Award

Sponsored by South City College Birmingham

  • Diverse Minds

Outstanding Family Business of the Year Award

Sponsored by ISA Support

  • The Barn at Berryfields

Outstanding Start-up Business of the Year Award

Sponsored by Birmingham Airport

  • Midland Health

Outstanding SME Business of the Year Award

Sponsored by Elavon

  • Love Your Postcode

Outstanding Venue of the Year Award

Sponsored by SME Outsourcing

  • Unique Venues Birmingham (UVB)

President of the Chamber, Qasim Majid, also presented his President’s Award to disability rights advocate and entrepreneur Shani Dhanda.

Shani stands at 3 ft 10 ins and has the rare genetic condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), more commonly known as Brittle Bones, affecting one in every 15,000 people in the UK.

Shani, from Birmingham, is a project manager with Virgin Media, but is also the founder of the Diversability Card, a discount card for disabled people and the Asian Disability Network, which provides support and education on disability to the Asian community.

She also founded the first Asian Woman Festival, which aims to empower and celebrate Asian women. The festival’s inaugural event was held in Birmingham this year.

Presenting the President’s Award to Shani, Qasim said: “As a disability rights advocate and successful social entrepreneur, Shani Dhanda has been relentless in creating everyday equality for disabled people and those who unfairly suffer negative stigmas, because of their health.

“Founder of Diversability Card, the Asian Disability Network, and workplace adjustment specialist and project manager at Virgin Media, Shani proves that where this is passion and courage, there are no barriers to success.

“Her career and ongoing charitable work is without a doubt, testament to this. We are exceptionally proud of hosting her and having the pleasure of presenting her with the ABCC President’s Award.”

Headline sponsors of the event included Douglas Wright T/A McDonald’s, HSBC and Birmingham City University, with more than 500 people in attendance.

Entertainment is being sponsored by The FA Group.

To view all the images from the event, visit

Pictured (l-r): Qasim Majid, Danielle Ford from Inspired Energy, Sophie Fletcher, Lisa Thompson both from RSVP, and awards host Nina Wadia

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