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British Empire Medal for Pioneer Ronke of Emi & Ben!

Thought Leader

British Empire Medal for Pioneer Ronke of Emi & Ben!

Ronke Oke was first inspired to start her own business when pregnant with daughter Emi in 2007. Upon telling her family in West Africa the good news, her grandmother immediately sent her traditionally used shea butter to moisturise and improve elasticity in her skin.

After using it on herself Ronke was sold. Shea butter helps the skin absorb moisture from the air keeping it softer for longer and has been attributed to the glowing, blemish free skin of many West African women. However, when she attempted to buy more in the UK she couldn’t find anything unrefined or similar to the real deal from her relatives across the world.

Ronke set out to create her own skincare brand and named it after her new baby daughter Emi and also newly born nephew Ben, both who became faces of the brand. She began to buy ingredients in bulk from women in Nigeria, not only keeping her product authentic but helping support a community.

emi and ben

Throughout the development of her business Ronke has become a huge ambassador for Virgin Media Pioneers, appearing on our homepage, in our content and at our events. Ronke even contributed to the creation and launch (with Richard Branson himself!) of Virgin StartUp which has gone on to give start-up loans to thousands of businesses.

Whilst building her own future Ronke has helped so many people better theirs, she is an ambassador for The Princes Trust and supports the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust.

Now, 7 amazing years after the launch of Emi & Ben, Ronke has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to business and charity and we couldn't be prouder to of been part of her journey.

Please join us in saying a HUGE congratulation to an amazing women and stand-out member of the Virgin Media Pioneers community!