New Brit Business

As Britain becomes more culturally diverse, so do her entrepreneurs. For people who have left their own countries and cultures, starting a business has often been the only means of economic survival. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown visits five such businesses and uncovers the stories of their enterprising founders.



Dr Qudrat Amir was forced to flee his native Afghanistan in 1989, leaving behind the home and medical career that he loved. After years of struggle, he has reinvented himself as a car trader on the outskirts of London.


Shobha Tailor came to this country from Uganda in 1968 to follow her husband-to- be who had gone on ahead to take up a job in Luton. They married, had two children and Shobha settled into the life of a traditional Asian wife. When the marriage broke-down and she found herself a single mother close to the bread line in a new country, Shobha decided to use her cooking skills to bring in some extra cash. What started as a few samosas for a local delicatessen has become a flourishing business distributing frozen Indian food across the country.
The programme traces Shobha's transformation from dutiful immigrant wife to outstanding British entrepreneur, with many setbacks and obstacles along the way.


Nik Berisha arrived in London in 1995, a destitute Kosovan asylum seeker with three words of English. Now he is the owner of a growing travel business with plans to expand and expand.


Chris Shokoya-Eleshin's Liverpool-based construction company is considered a model of multi-ethnic enterprise.

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Nikki Santichatsak came to the UK from Thailand determined to make a success of her new life. The journey has taken her from timid market trader to restaurant-chain tycoon, with many challenges along the way.