Awards recognising the cultural diversity and success of Suffolk businesses are back, with hopes that this year will be bigger than ever.

Nominations are now open for the Suffolk BME Business Awards 2022, which are now in its fifth year.

BSC Multicultural Services and the University of Suffolk will once again bring the awards to Ipswich, recognising the efforts of community heroes across the county that often go unrecognised.

The last time the event was held, in 2019, there were 131 nominations across the categories run by businesspeople and entrepreneurs from 30 different nationalities.

Boshor Ali, chairman of BSC Multicultural Society, thanked the university and sponsors for making the event possible.

He said: "It is important we recognise these businesses that make such important contributions to our economy, many of which would never get recognition."

The event is sponsored by SAI Estates and Kersey Solicitors.

Dr Sachin Karale, of sponsor SAI Estates, said he was pleased to sponsor the event as he was passionate about helping local businesses, adding: "I am a local businessman in town and well connected to businesses."

Jane Riley, of Kersey Solicitors, said: "It is important to recognise businesses in these difficult times, a group that is often underrepresented. It is about recognising and being part of the community we live in.

"We have a diverse workforce and it's important everyone is recognised for their work effort."

Suffolk County Councillor David Goldsmith, Ipswich Borough Council chairman David Ellesmere and Ipswich mayor, councillor John Cook all emphasised the difficult times businesses had faced during Covid and the challenges in the face of rising energy costs, and the need to recognise businesses.

The awards are also supported by the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times.

The award categories include:

  • Business of the Year (catering)
  • Startup/New Business of the Year
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Health Champion of the Year
  • Businessperson of the Year
  • Community Business of the Year
  • Charity of the Year
  • Judges Special Award of the Year
  • Business of the Year

To nominate a business or person for any of the categories, you can download a nomination form from

Forms must be completed and returned to BSC Multicultural Services, Room 29, 19 Tower Street, IP1 3BE.

The nominations will close on October 16.

An evening of celebration will be held on Tuesday, November 15 at the University of Suffolk's Waterfront Building, from 6.30pm to 9pm.