Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017

The University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), an award-winning community organisation, are partnering with the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star for the second Suffolk BME Business Awards.

Launch of the BME Business Awards 2017
Launch of the Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017. Photo by University of Suffolk.

The awards will be held on the evening of Wednesday 25 October at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Building, as part of the Suffolk Business School’s annual Suffolk Business Festival.

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.”

Dr Will Thomas, Associate Professor at 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, one of the sponsors of the Awards said “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 it in October.”

Cllr 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.”

Award categories

Business of the Year
Businessperson of the Year
Startup/New Business of the Year
Community Business of the Year
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
Charity of the Year

The final category will be a Judges Special Award.


To nominate a business or person for any of these categories please complete the online nomination form HERE.

Paper copies of the nomination form can be obtained from the Bangladeshi Support Centre or the University of Suffolk. Completed forms should be submitted to:

Bangladeshi Support Centre, 19 Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE

Nomination closing date: Saturday 30 September 2017.


Suffolk BME Business Awards 2016

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural Suffolk BME Business Awards, which took place at the University of Suffolk on the evening of the 26 October, 2016.

Photo of the winners and runners up of the Suffolk BME Business Awards. Photo (c) Suffolk Business School

The winner of Business of the Year was… Haverhill Electrical Supplies

The winner of Business Person of the Year was… Mac Khan (Staines & Co)

The winner of Start-up/New Business of the Year was… Casablanca Restaurant 

The winner of Community Business of the Year was… Nactown Barbers

The Judges Special Award went to… Bal Kaur Howard (BKH Training)

The Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre have worked together to organise and hose this first event. The aim was to celebrate, encourage and promote businesses across the County to show something of the range of organisations originating in the BME communities of Suffolk. Over the coming years, we hope that this evening will become a highlight of the business calendar and we will see more and more nominations from innovative and enterprising businesses.

Some of the organisers from the University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre. Photo (c) Suffolk Business School

We would like to thank everyone that took part in this awards and who nominate businesses for an award. We would also like to thank those that sponsored an award or have given their time to this project.

Special thanks to the award sponsors:

  • Ipswich Borough Council, sponsors of Business of the Year
  • Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. sponsors of Business Person of the Year
  • Suffolk Constabulary, sponsors of Start-up/New Business of the Year
  • Inspire Suffolk, sponsors of Community Business of the Year
  • University of Suffolk, sponsors of the Judges Special Award

Professor Simon Halsworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Arts, Business and Applied Social Sciences, University of Suffolk

Boshor Ali, Chairperson, Bangladeshi Support Centre

East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards 2016

20160708_091106Last night, UCS and the Suffolk Business School were out in force at the annual East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards 2016, hosted at Trinity Park Conference and Events Centre.

The weather was with us, and we were able to enjoy the start to a fantastic evening outside, meeting and greeting the familiar and the new. It was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and associates, and make new contacts outside the normal ‘business networking’ event. Everyone was dressed to the nines in tuxedos and ballgowns, and the whole event had the air of celebration.

Suffolk Business School Honorary Graduate Karen Hester, Executive Director at Adnams, gave an inspiring and entertaining keynote speech, entitled ‘From Mop to Top’, extolling the virtues of organisations that nurture and develop their staff, encouraging them to reach their potential. Suffolk offers so many opportunities to such a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, and Karen’s was a fitting story to tell in the uncertain times we now face. Anyone can achieve great things – they just need the drive and opportunities to do so. It is an ethos that we at UCS promote county – and country – wide.

20160708_091137UCS was proud to present the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s event. Provost and Chief Executive Richard Lister presented the award to Paul Winter, CEO of Ipswich Building Society for his contribution to Ipswich and the surrounding area since he started working for Ipswich Building Society in 1982. Unfortunately, Paul was not able to join us all on the night, so Richard presented the award in a short video filmed last week.

Richard Lister presents the Outstanding Achievement Award to Paul Winter in a short pre-recorded video.

Once the fourteen winners of the various awards were announced, it was time to wrap up the celebrations and head home. A full list of the winners can be found here.

Overall, it was an amazing night, celebrating the great talent and entrepreneurial spirit of Suffolk. UCS and the Suffolk Business School were proud to be a part of such a well established and prestigious event, and we all look forward to seeing what the year ahead has in store for businesses across the county. Thanks also to Trinity Park for hosting such a fantastic event.

We’ll see you all again this year… this time as the University of Suffolk.