Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, today (30 Aug 2002) announced the appointment of a new Chair of the Ethnic Minority Business Forum and the appointments of five new members.

The Ethnic Minority Business Forum is an advisory non-departmental public body which strengthens the Governments dialogue with black and minority ethnic (BME) business communities over Government policies and services which affect the ability of BME entrepreneurs to start and successfully grow their businesses. EMBF members are ethnic minority entrepreneurs from across the nine English regions and include people of different ages, gender and backgrounds.

The Chair and members, who take up their appointments on 1 April 2005.

The EMBF reports to the Secretary of State and meets the Minister for Small Business, Nigel Griffiths and the Chief Executive of the Small Business Service, Martyn Wyn Griffith on a regular basis.

Patricia Hewitt said: "The Ethnic Minority Business Forum is an invaluable help to me, and across Government, in making sure that we are listening to the views and concerns of the minority ethnic business community."

"I welcome the 5 new members and Chair to the Forum, and look forward to working with them and their colleagues in the coming months. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge of different types of business from different regions of the UK."

The five new members are:

Adeeba Malik (Chair): Adeeba, has been a member of the Forum since 2001 where she chaired the Business Support Group, she is the Deputy Chief Executive of QED-UK, a Bradford based national economic development agency, which aims to improve the economic, social and educational position of south Asian communities. She has extensive experience in the field of enterprise, education, employment and community development. QED-UK was a finalist in the UK Charity of the Year Awards in 2003.

She was awarded an MBE in the 2004 Queens Birthday Honours for her services to ethnic minorities and business. She has won numerous awards for her work. She holds a number of ministerial appointments including membership of the Women and Work Commission. Her previous activities have included being a Board Member of Yorkshire Forward, a non-executive director of British Waterways and Chair of Yorkshire Young Peoples Enterprise ForumAdeeba has a Bachelor of Education Honours degree. She also has an MA in Education from the Open University. She has worked as a teacher in schools in Bradford and in Hull and continues to live in Bradford.

Afzal Akram: Afzal is the Managing Director of the Deltaclub Group which is a Training Provider based in London. Deltaclub Group specialises in holding business networking events for companies across London, recruiting and signposting businesses to Partners workforce development and business support programmes. Deltaclub also runs a Learndirect branded ICT Training Centre. Having provided workforce development training and support, Deltaclub Group has recently started to train unemployed people in order to get them into sustainable employment.

Afzal holds a number of senior posts and board memberships including:-

  • Chairman of Business Link for London
  • Chairman of London East Connexions Partnership
  • Deputy Chairman of London North Learning + Skills Council
  • Governor of Waltham Forest College
  • Board Member of North London Chamber of Commerce

Sandra Croasdale: Sandra is the Managing Director of MBG Ltd, a manufacturing business based In the Wolverhampton. Sandra is also chair and founder of the African Caribbean Business Federation.

Nasir Iiyas: He is the founder member and Chair of the Chai Centre is a non-profit making Health Centre based in Burnley.He chairs the Danes House Economic Development Trust was set up to revive the deprived local economy. He is the Managing Director of Premiere Properties Ltd., a property owning and developing company. He was a member of the Government Task Force set up to look into the disturbances that occurred in Burnley in 2001.

Claudine Reid: Claudine is a Trustee for A.C.E Youth & Community Centre, a charity set up to enhance the development of Young people in the Community through music and the arts

Brian Wong: Brian was born in China and came to Liverpool in 1962. He graduated from Manchester University, with a MA in Economics (honours). Brian has been Finance Director of Hondo Trading Company since 1980. He is also founder and Managing Director of Foho Finance Investment Co. Ltd, since 1997.Appointed by many cities in China as their overseas investment advisor in 1989 Brian set up the Liverpool Chinatown Business Association to support local Chinese businesses. He extended this to the North West region by setting up the North West Chinese Council in 2001.He has been a Justice of Peace since 1994 and became Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside in 2002. Brian has become Board Trustee Member of the National Museum of Liverpool in 2004.

Adeeba Malik said today: "I am very excited at this opportunity to ensure that Whitehall really listens to the BME voice and I look forward to working with new and existing Forum members to maximise our impact."

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