Suffolk BME Business Awards celebrate enterprise in black and minority ethnic communities

The 2016 BME Business Awards: finalists, winners, judges and organisers celebrate at the end of the

The 2016 BME Business Awards: finalists, winners, judges and organisers celebrate at the end of the evening. - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk business community came together at the University of Suffolk last week to celebrate entrepreneurship - in the first Suffolk BME Business Awards.

016 NB Suffolk BME Business Awards 2016 on Wednesday at the University of Suffolk.

016 NB Suffolk BME Business Awards 2016 on Wednesday at the University of Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

These first awards, organised by the university business school with the Bangladeshi Support Centre, and the East Anglian Daily Times and other sponsors, including Ipswich Borough Council and the Jorna Indian Restaurant, took place during an evening which included good food and music and dance,

The locally-based South Indian Bollywood Dancers performed twice during the evening.

The main awards went to Haverhill businessman Nurual Hoque, for Business of the Year, and Ipswich accountant Mac Khan, as Business Person of the Year.

Business of the Year, sponsored by Ipswich Borough Council. Haverhill Electrical Supplies, Nurul Hoq

Business of the Year, sponsored by Ipswich Borough Council. Haverhill Electrical Supplies, Nurul Hoque receiving his award from David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council - Credit: Archant

Start-up Business of the Year went to the Casablanca Restaurant - Farhad Mohamed-Amin – while the Community Business of the Year Award was presented to Monju Miah of Nactown Barbers, Nacton Road, Ipswich.

Finally there was a special judges’ prize to tireless educator and trainer Bal Kaur Howard of BKH Training, also from Ipswich, for her important work in the areas of education, domestic violence and honour-based crimes.

Bosher Ali, chair of the Bangladeshi Support Centre, said the centre offered help and advice for people from a wide range of backgrounds, and nationalities, and had been going 20 years.

Business Person of the Year, Mac Khan. Mac Khan of Staines & Co, with his wife Nasim, receiving his

Business Person of the Year, Mac Khan. Mac Khan of Staines & Co, with his wife Nasim, receiving his award from Paul Simon of sponsors Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. - Credit: Archant

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He said: “We have been going nearlyk 20 years and we are striving to becone an inclusive organisation. More than 40 different nationalities acces our services.

“Ipswich is one of the most diverse communities in the East of England.”

Professor Simon Hallsworth, for the university, said: “We want to celebrate the vibrance of our business community, and entrepreneurship.

Casablanca Restaurant, winner of Start-Up Business of the Year, sponsored by Suffolk Constabulary.

Casablanca Restaurant, winner of Start-Up Business of the Year, sponsored by Suffolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

“We are here to serve our communities. It is your university, you have a stake in this university, because it belongs to you and your children. It is going to be here for hundreds of years.”

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, said events of this sort were even more important, following the country’s Brexit vote.

He said: “The businesses represented here tonight are based in places from across the whole of Suffolk, and there is a wide variation of the types of enterprise, as well as business people from a broad range of backgrounds.

Community Business of the Year, sponsored by Inspire Suffolk. Nactown Barbers, Monju Miah and his te

Community Business of the Year, sponsored by Inspire Suffolk. Nactown Barbers, Monju Miah and his team receive the award from Andy Crump programme director of Inspire Suffolk - Credit: Archant

“Those aspects will go a long way to dispelling some of the stereotypes which may exist. I would like to pay tribute to the team who have made this event possible. It’s a great idea and will continue to grow in years to come.

“I know it’s been hard work, but it is an important celebration of Suffolk as a truly multi-cultural county.”

The full results from the first Suffolk BME Business Awards:

Bal Kaur Howard, of BKH Training, receives her Special Judges Award at the BME Awards from Professo

Bal Kaur Howard, of BKH Training, receives her Special Judges Award at the BME Awards from Professor Simon Hallsworth - Credit: Archant

::BME Business of the Year, sponsored by Ipswich Borough Council

Winner:

Haverhill Electrical Supplies, Nurul Hoque

The South Indian Bollywood Dancers performing

The South Indian Bollywood Dancers performing - Credit: Archant

Short-listed:

H & F Auto Services, Marcello Di Franco

Kaspa’s Desserts, Inayat Kalam

Marman’s Meze, Lowestoft

Eastern Spice, Ipswich

::BME Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Winner:

Mac Khan, Staines & Co, Ipswich

Short-listed:

Azzouz El-Mahraoui, CoffeeLink, Ipswich

Abdul Malik, Ballingdon Valley Restaurant, Sudbury

Bal Kaur Howard, BKH Training

Rofu Miah, 405 Cab Co

::BME New Business/Start-up, sponsored by Suffolk Constabulary.

Winner:

Casablanca Restaurant, Ipswich

Farhad Mohamed-Amin

Short-listed:

Ottoman Restaurant, Ipswich

Biryani Hut, Ipswich

Ipswich Dry Cleaners

Westerfield House Care Home Ltd

::BME Community Business of the Year, sponsored by Inspire Suffolk

Winner:

Nactown Barbers, Ipswich; Monju Miah

Short-listed:

ISCRE, Ipswich

PHOEBE, Ipswich

Bangladeshi Forum, Waveney

Suffolk Portuguese Supplementary School, Ipswich

Anglo-Chinese Cultural Exchange