I am delighted to report that our inaugural Ethnic Entrepreneur Expo last Friday as a huge success! As an ethnic entrepreneur myself, this event was close to my own heart. It was a great opportunity to bring business owners from various ethnic communities together to talk business and forge new relationships.
From the feedback I have received so far, the event was greatly appreciated by all in attendance. We had incredible diversity among the attendees which numbered over 100 people. There were people from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe and, of course, Ireland.
Not only was there diversity in relation to from where people originated, but we also had people join us from different stages in their entrepreneurial journey. We were honoured with the number of dignitaries who took time out of their busy schedules to be with us on Friday at the Ethnic Entrepreneur Expo. The Mayor of Fingal, CEO of Fingal County Council, the Head of the School of Humanities ITB, the Head of Enterprise from the Local Enterprise Office, the CEO of Blanchardstown Area Partnership, Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme Manager of Blanchardstown Area Partnership were all in attendance along with local councillors and a representative of the Department of Social Welfare.
We are also very grateful to the speakers who joined us for the Ethnic Entrepreneur Expo from AIB, Bank of Ireland and Microfinance Ireland. They provided our audience with very useful, actionable advice on how to go about accessing supports and resources, and they in turn learned of the unique challenges faced by ethnic entrepreneurs and will, hopefully, be able to take this into consideration in the future. It was great to see the level of interaction between the funding institutions and the ethnic entrepreneurs. This event was able to put these people in direct contact in a very different way than usual and it seemed to work very well.
Some of the positive feedback I received from the attendees of the Ethnic Entrepreneur Expo showed quite clearly that there is an appetite for more this type of event in the Dublin area, but on a larger scale. This is a fair and welcome comment. I, too, would like to see more events like this, as a regular part of the business community schedule of events, around Dublin and further afield.
It has also become clear that there is an appetite and need for mentors, who themselves have an ethnic background, to work with ethnic entrepreneurs in helping them to develop and grow their businesses. The feedback also showed that there is a demand for entrepreneurial training and workshops for ethnic entrepreneurs. This positive feedback from the event gives the organisers and those in the sector and geographical area food for thought about how to expand and develop opportunities for ethnic entrepreneurs in the future. This is very positive indeed.
In Short, A Success
I’m very pleased at how the event unfolded. The Ethnic Entrepreneur Expo had a great team behind it and they really pulled it out of the bag on the day. The staff at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown were wonderful, they provided us with an excellent venue and catering.
It was clear that the networking opportunities were embraced by many, the business showcase was inspiring, and the panel discussion was extremely engaging.
Over all, I couldn’t have asked for the event to go better and I would like to thank everyone involved for their dedication and hard work. Thanks also to everyone who made the effort to come along, you made it the success that it was.