‘Communication can break barriers’ - Suffolk’s diverse business community celebrate success

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Diversity was the toast as the business community of Suffolk came together to recognise and celebrate the contribution of black and minority people in commerce.

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

The Suffolk BME Business Awards took place at the University of Suffolk and was attended by dozens of Suffolk and Ipswich business people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, along with sponsors and guests.

The awards are organised by the Bangladeshi Support Centre and the business school at the University of Suffolk.

Business Person of the Year was Rofu Miah of Ipswich-based 405 Cab Co.

He said: “I am really pleased. I started on my own six years ago. Now we have over 140 (freelance) drivers, and we work in Suffolk and across the country.”


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Italian-born Dr Marina Dixon received the Judges Special Award and made a plea for language teaching.

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

She said: “We need languages and good communication. Communication can break barriers. That is what we need in the world more than anything else.”

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There were two mayors, the leaders of Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council and sponsors, including law firm Kerseys in the audience.

Mayor of Ipswich Jane Riley said: “I think it is really good to have recognition of all the efforts that people put in. It is hard work running a business.”

There were entries from across Suffolk, from Newmarket to Felixstowe and Lowestoft to Sudbury, representing people with more than 30 different ethnic backgrounds who have made their lives and grown businesses here.

David Ellesmere leader of Ipswich Borough Council said: “Small businesses are a big part of the economy. It is important to have a showcase like this so we can share success. People like this can inspire others to achieve as well.”

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said: “These awards are very important for Suffolk.

“It is a diverse community and it is important to celebrate entrepreneurship, the business ambition and talent, and the success in it.”

Categories and shortlisted entries from across Suffolk

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Business of the Year

Alamin (wholesaler); Carlton Hotel, Ipswich; Ebony & Ivory salon, Ipswich; Halal Connection, Ipswich; Ipswich Spine Clinic

Winner; Ipswich Spine Clinic

Business of the Year (Catering)

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Brandon Tandori; Coffeelink Ltd, Ipswich; Eastern Spice, Ipswich; Newmarket Kebab House; The Curry Inn, Needham Market

Winner: Coffeelink

Business Person of the Year

Bayram Karabulut, BellaNapoli, Ipswich; Johnny Hussain, BlueNaan, Felixstowe; Mosahid Ali, SquarePharmacy, Ipswich; Ray Phagura Nacton RoadFish Bar, Ipswich; Rofu Miah, 405 Cab Co, Ipswich

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Winner: Rofu Miah

New Business of the Year

ABC Connect (handyman) Ipswich; Ipswich Bagel Company; Syrian Falafel, Ipswich; Your Local Best, Ipswich; Zaynab Restaurant, Capel St Mary

Winner: Your Local Best

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Community Business of the Year

AA Motor Medic, Ipswich; Indian Village, Ipswich; M & M Pharmacy, Ipswich; Radius Computing, Ipswich; Raja Stores,Ipswich

Winner: Raja Stores

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

Margaret Willcott, Hydrojetz, Ipswich; Mio Vong, 1st Choice Oriental Takeaway, Ipswich; Monica Lima, Portoccino, Ipswich; Remi Morrision, Cactus Media, Ipswich; Selda Kolagasioglu, Mahzen, Ipswich

Winner: Selda Kolagasiouglu

Mehmet and Selda Kolagasioglu are owners of Mahzen, Ipswch.
Selda was announced as Woman Entreprene

Mehmet and Selda Kolagasioglu are owners of Mahzen, Ipswch. Selda was announced as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year at the Suffolk BME Business Awards 2018, on Wednesday, but was unable to be present for the ceremony. Pictuere: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

Charity of the Year

Bangladeshi Forum Waveney; Carribean and African Community Health Forum; East Anglia Russian International Cultural Society; Karibu African Women’s Support; PHOEBE

Winner: East Anglia Russian International Cultural Society

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Copyright Anglia Picture Agency
Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Copyright Anglia Picture Agency Winners, sponsors, organisers and some of the shortlisted finalists at the 2018 Suffolk BME Business Awards. - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Judges’ Special Award

ADM Associates; Ipswich Reggae Choir; MD Languages Academy; Re-Shape (fitness); Your Life In Your Hands

Winner: MD Languages Academy

Suffolk BME Awards 2018
Dr Marina Dixon receives the Judges' Special Award at the 2018 BME Busine

Suffolk BME Awards 2018 Dr Marina Dixon receives the Judges' Special Award at the 2018 BME Business Awards, accompanied by her husband, Colin Dixon, from Professor Mohammed Dastbaz, deputy vice chancellor of the University of Suffolk. Picture: ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCY - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

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