The money, from the European Social Fund, will go to the ABC for SMEs project, which also helps existing women or minority ethnic small business owners to look at how they can grow their businesses and target broader markets. Its activities include mentoring, workforce development and training and networking events.

The full team for the Milton Keynes ABC project is now in place. Community business adviser Akin Priestley, business development adviser Gamal Salim and Milton Keynes Council’s employment support officer Tina Strutton are based at the Milton Keynes Enterprise Gateway, in Netherfield.

A council spokesman said: “The primary focus for Milton Keynes is to help unemployed individuals, specifically BME groups and women, back into employment. Many BME groups want to expand their small family business to employ non-family members and access a wider market outside their community, which this project will help achieve.”

The council is working in partnership with Business Link Solutions, the Asian Business Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council.

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