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Let's Talk Business Enterprise Club

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Rakkaposhi Dessert Bradford

1 Ebenezer Street

Bradford

BD1 5AA

United Kingdom

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Part of the QED Let's Talk Business project, our Enterprise Clubs are designed to be a supportive network for women who need inspiration, direction and support. Our events provide a chance to mingle, chat, build friendships and even have tea and a slice of cake! We have an amazing line of speakers who really want to share their journey with you and give you lots of tips on how to get started and be successful! We meet monthly on a Thursday. Just make sure you enrol first.

Our speaker for this month is Fatima Patel is Managing Director of publishing group, RF Publishing Ltd, who publish the country’s leading Asian news titles: Asian Sunday Newspaper, Asian Standard Newspaper and Asian Style Magazine.

Asian Sunday Newspaper, is a pioneering media title which has made history as the UK’s first, free Sunday newspaper and also the first ever Asian Sunday newspaper. The newspaper launched in 2011 and went on to become one of the most read Asian newspaper’s in Bradford. Following on from the success, Fatima later launched a national weekly title Asian Standard and re-launched the glossy monthly lifestyle magazine – Asian Style Magazine.

Among other professional credits, the media entrepreneur is also patron of Cancer Support Yorkshire and also on the Board of Directors for Bradford City of Film.

Growing up in Bradford, Yorkshire, she never foresaw one day running her own groundbreaking and benchmark newspaper title, which now feels her life’s most natural purpose and destination. While she was growing up, journalism wasn’t a career choice that was advocated by her family or the wider community. Like other second-generation Asian migrant settlers in the UK, she was encouraged to follow a safe career path that brought with it job security. Post studies that spanned Marketing, Beauty and Nutrition, professional roles included stints in a call centre, the IT industry and engaged in a number of her own business enterprises.

As a second generation South Asian migrant, daughter to parents who escaped extreme poverty in India to make a life for themselves in the UK, Fatima’s interest in news reporting and journalism was born in the family’s portfolio of newsagents. Getting up at the crack of dawn to sort, and deliver door-to-door, the morning papers was a challenge but the adrenaline rush of seeing the headlines before anyone else (even at 5am) was what ignited her passion for news reporting.

What bothered her, however, was her observation of one-sided reporting and bias that was prevalent in the news in those days. It was the disparity in understanding between local communities that motivated her goal of helping facilitate integration and bridging the gap between communities to gain a better understanding of one another, encouraging tolerance and mutual respect while at the same time being at the forefront of breaking news.

She enrolled for Media and Arts studies, developed her skills as a journalist and, identifying a huge gap in the market, conceptualised a free, Sunday newspaper focusing on the South Asian community in the UK, which would be delivered door-to-door with a view to further reaching the wider community, giving them an insight into and understanding of the South Asian community living, working and doing business in the UK and alongside them. The newspaper would cover issues that the South Asian community faced and that would, in turn, affect the wider community. The need to break stereotypes and to challenge pre-existing views and mindsets and, above all, to highlight the truth lay at the heart of the paper’s set of ethics.

Harnessing a team of journalists and creatives that shared the same journalistic vision, Fatima develop Asian Sunday, initially as a trial for the Bradford audience and focusing primarily on the Bradford community. Their collective aim was to provide a platform for learning, understanding, dialogue, integration and, above all, to conduct and deliver responsible reporting.

At the time, Fatima didn’t anticipate the paper’s unprecedented success in delivering unparalleled content and garnering community cohesion that transcended the region’s rich abundance of cultures and faiths. Launching a first-of-its kind paper in the UK across the mainstream as well as diverse communities has duly received plaudit and praise from Bradford’s Lord Mayor and Councillors, but Fatima’s biggest achievement has been to connect with thousands of people every weekend through the newspaper.

Five years on and the same, positive impact has been achieved with the weekly national title – Asian Standard and monthly lifestyle magazine Asian Style.

As well as her unfettered commitment to the paper and cementing its status as a best practice publication that sets superior journalistic standards, practice and ethics, Fatima launched the Inspirational Women Awards in 2011 – a project she feels a personal connect with. She, herself, has faced many challenges and glass ceilings in life, on both personal and professional levels. Despite austerity, tough opponents, bad health and unethical systems and people encountered in industry, she faced her challenges head on, with integrity and conviction. Beyond her own life experience, she recognised that many women face challenges every day, struggle to overcome adversity and who can achieve, given the right support to do so. She established the Inspirational Women Awards to honour those female achievers across all spheres of public and home life, overcoming challenges and becoming role models for future generations of aspiring and inspiring women. The esteemed awards recognise and celebrate women in the workplace, in business, in the home and in the community and has now become the Inspirational Women Foundation, a not for profit organisation still in its early stages, committed to helping women progress and receive the support they may need across every aspect of their lives, from financial, business and home support through to counselling, advice, help with filling in forms or contacting the relevant persons to help with a personal issue. Committed to philanthropic causes and giving back, Fatima combines her work in and for the community, from microcosmic to a wider level, with passion, fortitude, humility and grace.

Please book early to avoid disappointment! See you soon!

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Rakkaposhi Dessert Bradford

1 Ebenezer Street

Bradford

BD1 5AA

United Kingdom

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