Deli project ‘a catalyst for growth’ in Dublin
2015-08-15 16:02:30 -

Entrepreneur Raomal Perera with John O'Dea of Enterprise Irelan, Dublin City Council's Declan Hayden, Catherine Mahoro of DotaBa and Thomas Cooney of DIT at the Dublin Deli Seminar in March this year.



The Diversity in the Economy and Local Integration (Deli) project started in early 2014 as part of a Council of Europe Intercultural Cities project. Its aim was to examine local interacting socio-economic factors, to explore approaches to enhance the contribution of migrants to the local economy and to make entrepreneurship more accessible for all at different scales.


Ten cities across Europe were involved, including Dublin. Dublin Deli conducted research, organised meetings and events and established a local partnership platform with local stakeholders from various backgrounds and with diverse expertise to prepare and gather knowledge on migrant entrepreneurship. A number of meetings were hosted, including key networking events, seminars, workshops and the hosting of two European partnered Deli Round Table events.


Dublin has always been a city advocating diversity across all communities, including the migrant community. There are many existing initiatives and institutes in Dublin and Ireland who have made a lot of efforts to promote migrant rights and entrepreneurship in general. The Deli project was welcomed by local stakeholders in Dublin and was well received as a strong support of the migrant networks. 



Challenge to policy makers

Each of the many initiatives and institutes in Dublin has achieved a lot in individual areas. The focus was to create an opportunity for peers to come together to share, learn and exchange. Organisations such as the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship in DIT, BrainGain, AkiDwA, DotaBa, the Dublin City Local Enterprise Office, eDundalk (Right Attitude), Epic (Employment for People from Migrant Communities) and Metro Éireann, along with many smaller networking groups, play a very important role in engaging and contributing to the whole area of minority entrepreneurship.


“Deli has posed an important challenge to economic policy makers and agencies to take diversity into account,” says Niall Crowley, independent equality and diversity expert at the Europe-wide Deli project. 


“There has been valuable learning from this experience. We know migrant entrepreneurs face particular disadvantages. Business support services and policy makers need to address these in a targeted manner if migrant entrepreneurs are to be successful.


“Migrant entrepreneurs are diverse in terms of culture. Cultural diversity has practical implications for how people might access, engage with, or make use of the services of state agencies. Business support services and policy makers have to be able to take this cultural diversity into account and tailor their services and policies to migrant entrepreneurs.”


Catalyst for growth

Dublin Deli is on track with the Europe-wide project principles in general and the local strategies planned in the Irish capital. The Deli project has had a very important impact on the local actions towards enhancing migrant entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in general. 


The project has been a catalyst for growth and development in this area away from any specific policy changes. The local partnership platform initiated by Deli offers an opportunity for all local stakeholders to gather, communicate and explore the relevant issues, which drives potential for changes.


The most successful aspect of this project is the catalyst to connection, networking and learning at local level among migrant entrepreneurs and organisations promoting ‘diversity advantage’. It is hoped that in future the established local partnership platforms will continue with regular meet-ups and dialogues about migrant-related matters.


“Finally, we know that migrant entrepreneurs offer what is called diversity advantage,” says Crowley. “This advantage includes access to markets in their country of origin and the creativity that flows from the mix of different cultures. Business support services and policy makers need to be able to ensure this diversity advantage is realised.”

TAGS : Diversity in the Economy and Local Integration Deli Council of Europe Intercultural Cities Dublin Deli entrepreneurship
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