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JIS News

Jamaican born textile artist and designer, Doreen Gittens has received the Black Enterprise International Business of the Year Award for 2005.
Mrs. Gitten’s company, Archipelago Textiles, produces exclusive hand-woven fine textiles for interior fabrics, soft furnishings and fashion garments. She told JIS news that she was very proud for being nominated and actually winning the award. “The award is very good. It is good to be recognised for your work, but you have to continue working and keeping up your standards,” she said.
Mrs. Gittens, who has exhibited her range of fabric and designs at the Jamaican High Commission in London, also participated in this year’s Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica.
She is currently preparing for the Country Living Christmas Show at the Islington Design Centre in London.
The Black Enterprise Awards 2005 took place at the Guildhall in London where the announcement for nine categories of the best of Black British businesses was made.
The sponsor of the Black Enterprise Awards 2005 is the UK Trade & Investment, the British government’s organisation that provides support and services to UK companies looking to achieve overseas business potential.
Black Enterprise Awards founder, Kofi Kusitor, said he was overjoyed at the range of talented entrepreneurial people that could be recognised for their hard work and dedication.
“I am also honoured that Black Enterprise Awards is the only event to recognise this talented pool of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders,” he added.
The award for Entrepreneur of the Year, went to Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, trading as The Black Farmer. Mr. Jones, who is also of Jamaican heritage, is described as Britain’s only black farmer. The Black Farmer brand produces a range of premium quality pork sausages and cooking sauces.
“There are massive challenges in farming, not just for black people but for white people as well. When I bought my farm about 10 years ago I saw that there were opportunities, and so I decided it would be quite novel to buy a farm down in the West Country and start rearing animals. From that I had the idea of creating my own brand, The Black Farmer. We produce all sorts of meats, including sausages,” he told JIS News.
“I wanted to create a brand that was representative of the multicultural society that we live in. I didn’t want the product just to be seen as something for the ethnic market but to show producers that black people can produce food for everybody and not just for ethnic minorities,” he added.
Another Jamaican, Jak Bubuela-Dodd received the Black Enterprise Business Innovator of the Year 2005 for the Nubian Jak board game. It was the first “black board game” to get mainstream distribution in the UK.