A diverse range of businesses people are honoured from many ethnic groups
PUBLISHED: 16:20 26 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:55 27 October 2017
A special celebration for Suffolk’s thriving BME business community with awards night at the University of Suffolk.
The second annual Suffolk BME Business Awards were celebrated at a multi-cultural presentation night hosted by the University of Suffolk in its Waterfront building, in Ipswich.
It was a night to celebrate business excellence and achievement, of economic growth and employmen, but most of all it was about celebrating community cohesion, friendship and mutual support.
These special awards highlight many of the unsung heroes of the BME - black and minority ethnic - communities to the local economy in Ipswich and Suffolk, and to understanding and friendship.
As one of the winners, Zeaur Rahman said: “It is about community. We support each other. I use these other businesses, and they come to me.”
The special awards are organised by the BSC, the Bangladeshi Support Centre with the Businesss School at the University of Suffolk, and supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, and with other local sponsors.
Guests included two mayors, Sarah Barber of Ipswich and Nick Barber from Felixstowe, and Tim Passmore the Police and Crimer Commissioner for Suffolk, who also presented an award.
Boshor Ali, chair of the BSC said: “This is a celebration of all BME businesses in Suffolk, and their contribution to the economy and employment.”
“We have winners from all over Suffolk and a wide range of ethnic groups represented.”
There were a larger number of entries this year, he said.
They included bangladeshis and afro-carribeans, turkish and portuguese, kurdish, thai and chinese businesses, many of them shortlisted.
The winners were:
The Sheesh restaurant,Bury St Edmunds.
It opened just eight months ago, offering traditional cooked food over a charcoal grill.
Owner Abdullah Gokteke said: “I am very excited. I am very proud of myself and my business,”
Delta Pharmacy, Ipswich, which has been in the same ownership for more than 30 years.
Owner Umesh Patel said: “I am pleased to be serving the third generation of some of my customers in my community.”
Charity of the Year
Anglo-Chinese Cultural Exchange
Organiser Lydia Tse said the organisation, which works from school age through the elderly, “I am very proud of my team. We have a special ten year celebration next year.”
Business Person of the Year
Zeaur Rahman of Baba-Z barbers, Foxhall Road, Ipswich.
He said: “I started from my mum’s bathroom in Alderman Road, and it has grown and developed over 18 years. It is a traditional business but we have an app for real-time queuing - for customers wherever they are.”
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
Kashwi Shahid, of Zaika Indian Cuisine, Ipswich.
She said: “There is no limit to what you can achieve if you think positive.”
Business of the Year - Kaspa’s Desserts - M Inayat Kalam.
Inayat Kalam paid tribute to the local support since he opened his desserts restaurant in March 2016.
“There is something about this town that is very friendly. You don’t get that in London. I have really come to love Ipswich.”
Judges’ Special Award - Nurjuhan (Roshida) Begum of Zahraa Professional Tailoring.
She thanked her loyal customers and her husband Foyjul Islam.
Professor Mohammed Dastbaz, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, said: “She is a respected local tailoring business who has worked hard to make Ipswich a better place to live.”