Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017 now open for entries

Organisers and supporters at the launch of the 2017 Suffolk BME Business Awards.
Picture: SARAH LUC

Organisers and supporters at the launch of the 2017 Suffolk BME Business Awards. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk BME Business Awards are back for 2017 - and nominations are now open.

The awards celebrate the diversity of businesses across Ipswich and the wider Suffolk area from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities.

The Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), an award-winning community organisation, is again partnering with the University of Suffolk’s Business School, and the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star to hold the awards. There are hundreds of BME businesses in Suffolk, contributing millions of pounds to the local economy every year, and the awards aim to acknowledge their contribution.

Boshor Ali, chair of BSC, said: “BSC is delighted to be working with our partners to highlight the contribution of Suffolk’s BME businesses, which is much-needed in the current climate. Last year’s event was a great success and I am looking forward to celebrating again this year.”

Nominations can be made via the University of Suffolk Business School website – www.uos.ac.uk/business – or by contacting the BSC office directly for a nomination form. All types of businesses from across Suffolk are welcome to nominate themselves, including social enterprises.

The deadline for entries is September 30, after which an independent panel of judges will then meet to sift through the applications.

Dr Will Thomas, from the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk, said: “We are pleased to be working with BSC again to recognise BME businesses and to acknowledge the contribution that they make to the local economy and to our local communities.”

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, added: “It’s a brilliant idea celebrating the often hidden contribution of the BME community in the county. Last year’s awards were a great start and now we can build on that. I am very much looking forward to the event in October.”

Sarah Barber, Mayor of Ipswich, said: “I think the awards are a great idea; small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we need to encourage them from every community. I am particularly pleased there is a Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award so I am looking forward to seeing who wins that but I think there will be worthy winners in all the categories.”

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The award ceremony will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, October 25, at the University of Suffolk. There are many opportunities to get involved. If you would like to sponsor an award, nominate a business or just attend the ceremony, contact BSC on 01473 400081 or 07932 644466.

To nominate a business or person in any of the categories, download a nomination form from www.uos.ac.uk/business or go to www.bscentre.org.uk

The main categories are: Business of the Year, Startup/New Business of the Year, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Businessperson of the Year, Community Business of the Year and Charity of the Year. The judges will also announce a special award on the night.