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Drive to encourage ethnic entrepreneurs to set up in business.

A DRIVE to increase the number of black and ethnic minority businesses in the North West was launched yesterday.

The region's first Ethnic Minority Business Forum (EMBF), backed by the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) will seek to influence the strategy and policies of local business development agencies.

EMBF chairman Kam Kothia said the North West lagged a long way behind other regions in the number of black and ethnic minority enterprises (BMEs).

He said: "There are currently around 19,000 BMEs in the North West and what this initiative recognises is the gap in economic output, about pounds 10bn, that exists with other parts of the UK."

Mr Kothia, himself a successful entrepreneur, said EMBF would offer advice and guidance to agencies like the local Business Links and Learning and Skills Councils.

The EMBF is initially being backed by pounds 200,000 from the NWDA with the possibility of more funding coming later

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Kam Kothia wants to see more businesses run by people from ethnic minorities
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2005
Words:168
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