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Task force to help create 100,000 businesses

Ethnic minority business leaders urged to step up and make their ideas happen 20th April 2009: Entrepreneur and star of BBC’s "Dragon’s Den", James Caan, has called for more entrepreneurs to make their ideas happen and create an extra 100,000 ethnic minority run businesses in the UK.

Mr. Caan made the call as he set out his vision at his first meeting as the new co-Chair of the Department for Business’s Ethnic Minority Task Force.

"It is more important than ever that we create an environment where anyone with ambition, passion and a good idea – no matter what their background – can succeed.

"Research has found that there are a great number of talented individuals who never move from ‘thinker to doer’. I want the Ethnic Minority Task force to enable them to make that jump and create extra 100,000 businesses.

"I look forward to presenting the Task Force’s recommendations to Lord Mandelson later in the year," Mr. Caan said.

The Task Force aims to foster growth among black and minority ethnic (BME) firms and boost economic participation by BME entrepreneurs.

The Task Force is jointly funded by the Department for Business and England’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).
Mr. Caan’s responsibilities as co-chair will include providing strategic direction to the Task Force and initiating discussions with banks and financial institutions on ways in which the Government can better support BME business owners.

Mr. Caan will also lead an investigation into why ethnic minority businesses face additional barriers in the current climate. This document and the recommendations will be published in July.

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