Financing first and foremost at ‘Brain Gain’ seminar
2015-11-15 12:00:21 -

By Margot Garnier


“Being self-employed is not an easy road,” says solicitor Ashimedua Okonkwo, “but Irish are hungry for our ideas.” 


Okonkwo was one of many business leaders speaking at the recent Brain Gain seminar for migrant entrepreneurship organised by the migrant women’s network AkiDwA at Dublin City Council’s Wood Quay offices.


She explained to those in attendance that “in Africa, there is a culture of self-employed jobs. People are selling what they have. Nobody is waiting to send CVs or to do job interviews. Why do we have to come to Ireland and wait for a job?”


Around 20 entrepreneurs and people with business ideas gathered to share their experiences and to help each other for the sixth annual Brain Gain under the theme ‘facing finances’, which is one of the main difficulties new entrepreneurs have to deal with.


But according to AkiDwA chief executive Claudia Hoareau-Gichuhi, there are other obstacles for migrants with new business ideas.


“Networking and funding are the main keys for a successful business but when migrants arrive in Ireland, they have a very limited network,” she says. “Brain Gain was created to help entrepreneurs to get out and meet different people.”


Given the success of the latest event, Hoareau-Gichuhi wants to bring Brain Gain a stage further in 2016.


“We know a lot of successful migrant entrepreneurs in the business of food and catering,” she says. “They would like to pool some of their resources together and help other migrants to start their own businesses. It will be a new step for us.”

TAGS : Brain Gain Entrepreneurs Claudia Hoareau-Gichuhi
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