HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 c1086
18. Mr. Tony McNulty (Harrow, East)

What plans he has to increase the number of entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities. [82378]

The Minister for Small Firms, Trade and Industry (Mr. Michael Wills)

Ethnic minority business make an important contribution to the economy and the Government recognise that. The Department of Trade and Industry is working to reduce the barriers faced by people from all sections of the community in starting and growing successful businesses. The Department has recently joined Business in the Community's race for opportunity campaign, and one of our aims in joining this campaign will be to target support for ethnic minority-owned businesses more effectively. I also expect the Small Business Service to take account of the special needs of minority-owned businesses.

Mr. McNulty

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Will he join me in congratulating the dynamic contribution made, particularly by Asian entrepreneurs, to British business in general and to my constituency in particular? Will he ensure that policies such as those that he outlined will continue to facilitate the growth of entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities? Asian entrepreneurs in my constituency were severely clobbered by the woeful economic mismanagement of the Tories and will never again support their lunatic, wide-eyed policies.

Mr. Wills

I recognise the force of the last point, particularly, and am happy to join my hon. Friend in congratulating the success of entrepreneurs in his own constituency. I look forward to meeting them when I visit Harrow this summer. I am happy to give him the assurances that he seeks.