A GROUP of Oxford students have won an award for their business which aims to help make black-owned businesses more visible online.

Created last year by three decade-long friends Cain McCallam, 25, Fabio Embalo, 26, and Duray Pretorius, 25, Viaduct Generation is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) agency in London and Oxford.

It helps small black-owned, POC (people of colour) and progressive businesses to get more exposure online.

ALSO READ: Oxford University to keep slave trader statue

The trio aim to 'diversify digital spaces' as they say roughly 91 per cent of web pages are not listed on Google despite 93 per cent of online browsing beginning on the search engine.

As businesses increasingly rely on an online presence during the pandemic, this statistic will begin to affect small-medium sized businesses who are not visible on Google.

Co-founder Mr Embalo said: "At the end of the day, this business is just a face behind the social purpose we are trying to achieve - social equity.

“Black businesses are not utilising the transformational power of SEO and are forfeiting online visibility, market share and commercial growth.”

The team won the People's Choice Award at Oxford Brookes University's annual pitching competition the Fuel Awards, sponsored by Santander.

The team were judged to have given the best presentation amongst a host of other Brookes businesses who battled it out after eight weeks of training in marketing, business model, forecasts and finances, IP and legal.

Organiser Rebecca Heppolette told Viaduct Generation: “Your team is incredibly strong, and your concept is great. SEO is not going away and it is a quick business to scale. The judges were also very interested in the podcast idea.”

ALSO READ: New programme helps firms grow in Covid-19 pandemic

The diverse trio, who met at West London’s Brentside High School sixth form college, have a combined skill set in SEO, creative marketing and business development.

Created last year after the death of George Floyd sparked social unrest, Viaduct Generation has partnered with Searchmetrics, an SEO company, to make enterprise-level technology affordable and it is starting by offering free website reviews for small-medium sized black-owned businesses.

As well as helping businesses get on the radar, the trio are launching a podcast called The Wise Build Bridges to share perspectives from creatives and entrepreneurs of colour, while exploring cultural topics and sharing valuable digital insights.

Go to viaductgen.com for more information.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.