Ipswich Bangladeshi community links up with university to launch new awards scheme

The launch of the Suffolk BME Business Awards at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich.

The launch of the Suffolk BME Business Awards at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A brand new business awards scheme was launched in Ipswich this week - intending to highlight the contribution of people in the BME – black and minority ethnic communities – to the local economy.

The Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC) is linking up with the business school at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich to launch the new awards, with nominations to be invited uring the summer.

The plan is to reveal the winners at a high profile public event, in October, at the university.

Mojlum Khan, manager of the Bangladeshi Support Centre in Ipswich, said it was an opportune time to launch the new awards, in the light of the immigration debate, post Brexit.

He said: “It is very important. We didn’t plan it that way but it is a very good time to do this - to flag this up.

“We want people to nominate people in business for these awards, and we will have an independent panel of judges including people from the university and Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times.”

Full details of the Suffolk Business Awards, in partnership with UCS, and how to make nominations, would be on the website, he said.

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Mr Khan said: “The aim is to recognise the BME businesses in Suffolk: to recognise their commitment and their importance to the local economy.

“We hope we will highlight the achievements of the different communities in Suffolk, and to remove misunderstanding.

“There are all sorts of businesses, from accountants to restaurants, to builders and shopkeepers, all different sectors. Everybody will be invited from across the communities.”

BME businesses, he added, were worth millions to the local economy and created hundreds of jobs too.

Among those at the launch was Ipswich businessman Boshor Ali, the chairman of the Bangladeshi Support Centre.

“We are a multi-cultural community and there are a lot of communities in Ipswich, including Indian and Chinese.

“It is important to acknowledge these businesses, and their contribution, and it is good to work with the university to do so.

“Hopefully we should be able to make this a success.

“We want nominations. If we can grow the seed we can have some great results over the next few years.

“These local businesses need to be recognised. Local business make the town vibrant,” he added.

Among those at the launch was county councillor Mandy Gasylard who added: “This is very important. We have the multi-cultural festival in St Helens and this is another step forward.”

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, said: “

For more information, and to find out about nominations, telephoen the BSC on 01473 400081 or go to the website: www.bscentre.org.uk