My social enterprise idea aims to address the below problem outlined by the OECD 2016 report, - "Weaving Together Policies for Social Inclusion in Ireland":
- 38% of those on live register in Blanchardstown are non-Irish
- There is a high level of ethnic segregation in Blanchardstown
- There is need for better support for the social and economic integration of immigrant communities
- There are gaps and lack of integrated and flexible approach in meeting the needs of new communities and long term unemployed
To address the above problems, I plan to organize two annual intercultural festivals in collaboration with Blanchardstown Area Partnership (SICAP Implementer) and Fingal County Council in Mulhuddart and Balbriggan two villages densely populated with immigrant communities. This festival will offer a unique opportunity for immigrants, especially start-ups to promote their indigenous businesses and engage in trading activities alongside businesses run by the host community . The festival aims to launch the set up of a cultural market where indigenous immigrant businesses hold weekly or monthly weekend Variety Market in the Community Centers to sell food, fabrics, jewelries, arts & crafts from all over the world. The festival will also provide opportunity for immigrants to showcase their talent and skills such as music, cultural dance, hair braiding while earning some money. The vision is that in a year or two, we will have a dedicated space or center where we support and promote migrant businesses and run a restaurant offering diverse immigrant meals/dishes/finger foods in same building. These finger foods and meals can be distributed to other community centers as a pilot project to gauge the demand for product.
Also I will provide mind-set and business coaching for members of migrant communities looking to go into business. I plan to help them not only set up their businesses but also grow their business through providing culturally sensitive training and mentoring support.