Convention hands out top awards for enterprise

A RESTAURATEUR, a community worker and an educational publisher were among those honoured at Yorkshire Black Enterprise Convention.

Kriss Akabusi, the Olympic silver medallist and a member of the UK gold-medal winning 400m relay team in the world championships in 1991, was the keynote speaker at a ceremony for more than 400 people at Leeds United conference centre.

Rad Miller, who works for Leeds-based Pocket Projects, a youth media production company, won the creative business award for his work providing video, music and audio educational workshops and film commissions for the youth sector.

Johnny Flowers, business personality of the year, arrived in England in 1961, from Jamaica. For more than four decades he has worked voluntarily to improve the welfare of the Caribbean community in

Yorkshire. In 1976, he founded Ashbrow Garage, in Huddersfield, which has grown since then.

Bradford entrepreneur Akili Ta Seti, 12, picked up the future of enterprise award for running Wisdom Enterprises which provides printing services, web and graphic design and free computer skills to people who need them.

Marcia Hutchinson, who runs Huddersfield-based Primary Colours, a publishing and learning development company which helps children to understand cultural diversity, was named female entrepreneur of the year. The firm has published more than 20 books and five CDRoms.

Barrington Douglas, male entrepreneur of the Year, is also from Huddersfield. He runs Discovery Bay, an award-winning Caribbean restaurant, as well as operating an outside catering service for corporate and community events.

Byron Francis, from Manningham Mills Sports and Community Association, picked up the enterprise in the community award for his work for a charity which encourages and supports education, sports health and social activities.

Rowland Egege and Bobby Singh from Pro Active Sports (UK) were jointly named Young Entrepreneur. Bradford-based Pro Active aims to make people healthier by putting on sports sessions that fit around school times. They work with 65 schools across Yorkshire as well as the youth service and community centres.

The second annual awards, supported by Business Link Yorkshire and Yorkshire Forward, took place on Friday.

Andy Kemp, one of the judges, said: "This year's entries graphically demonstrate the impressive rise of the region's black entrepreneurs and

that black businesses no longer exist in just a few niche markets."