Annika Allen is the co-owner of entertainment platform The Colour Network and a seasoned digital marketing and events professional with over 15 years experience.
With her entrepreneurial spirit, creative flair and go-getting attitude this media maven has built businesses and brands and empowered the next generation of creative talent with her entertaining and educational experiential events. As an early adopter of the digital revolution and new media channels, she has worked on highly creative campaigns, across both digital, print advertising and events with clients from multiple sectors from the likes of Google, Universal, Sleek, BBC, Channel 4 and Crimestoppers as well as well as making an impact when she previously co-owned youth lifestyle publication Flavourmag for 8 years.
Annika’s insights and unique understanding and experiences have made her a sought-after expert on engaging audiences through digital communications and diversity within the creative industries.
In 2013 Annika teamed up with Google to work on Top Black Talent (TBT), an innovative career insight programme with an award-winning mentoring programme for black university students aspiring to a career with a global organisation like Google. She created a live studio broadcast that she presented for viewers to hear world-class technical advice and career wisdom from experienced Googlers who are working on cutting-edge computer science solutions.
She has also trained 14-30 year-olds in journalism, events management, online content creation and social media skills as well as developing bespoke digital, social media workshops, music and enterprise masterclasses, seminars and conferences for individuals, schools and businesses.
Annika has organised and curated a series of events over the years. Highlights include live music and seminars for the Deal Real Legay pop-up shop that featured the likes of Kano, Lady Leshurr, Akala and Kate Tempest. Seminars, workshops and all-day conferences for youth music charity Urban Development, the Pride Awards for Lewisham Council, Google UK’s first ever Black History Month event and Power Players, an inspirational panel discussion with various trailblazing women from the world of tech, media and music.
She is a regular speaker on leadership, wordpress, business start ups and diversity and has spoken at The University of East London, for various International Women’s Day events, YouTube and on BBC Radio London, 5Live, London Live and New Style Radio.
2016 saw Annika and comedian and entrepreneur Kojo launch The Colour Network - a black lifestyle and entertainment network that provides a platform to showcase positive stories about diverse groups like no one else can. Entertaining, authoritative and insightful, we produce and feature exciting and arresting TV, film and written content that highlights life experiences, passions, and culture. The Colour Network was also nominated for a UK Entertainment Award and a Screen Nation Digital-IS award for Best Online Platform. Annika also won a She Builds Brands Award after a public vote.
Annika studied at the University of Arts and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism. As an accomplished journalist with a specialism in arts, lifestyle and entertainment she contributed features to Pride Magazine, The Voice Newspaper, Street Cred Magazine, The Birmingham Post, Black Hair to name but a few and had a weekly column in the New Nation Newspaper. Highlights as a journalist include interviewing the likes of Idris Elba, Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry and being invited to Downing Street to meet former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Annika is passionate about championing diversity, empowering women and inspiring and developing the skills of the next generation of creative talent. 2017 saw her launch a podcast called Queens n Dreams giving a voice to unique and inspiring women from the worlds of fashion, music, business and media to share their personal stories and discuss and dissect the issues affecting women complete with arguments, tears, laughter and solutions.