Bid to use untapped resource
July 01, 2002
ETHNIC minority business leaders joined a Government minister to make the most of what has been an untapped resource in the economy.
Nigel Griffiths MP, the minister for small businesses, joined more than 150 delegates at the Town Hall in Reading this month to try to unlock minority business potential.
Askar Sheibani, a member of the organising group Ethnic Minority Business Forum, said the purpose of the debate was to forge stronger links between the two groups.
He said: "The interesting thing in that meeting was the realisation of the lack of awareness ethnic minority businesses had about the support available to them."
Mr Sheibani he said it needed to change because those who seek professional support have a better chance of survival.
But he added many who were aware of the help available, not just from business advice groups but venture capitalists, were reluctant to seek help. He said: "The reason for not contacting groups was because there was a mistrust.
"But there has now been a culture change in organisations like Business Link, which is very good."
Mr Sheibani said the advantage minority groups offer the country is the ability to speak in different languages and relate to different cultures that help win export contracts.
He said: "The advantage is job creation and wealth creation for the nation.
"This sector can bring in an enormous amount of hard currency into the country."