Developing Cultural Competence

Culturewise Emerges Top of Class for Entrepreneurship

Cork intercultural training company scoops top prize in the Equal Project “Emerge” Programme

CORK, Monday July 16th 2007: A Cork based intercultural training and research consultancy, Culturewise Ireland, was awarded today top prize in the EQUAL Project “Emerge” Programme for the southern region. This programme, a first in Ireland, engages proactively with ethnic minority entrepreneurs to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. Emerge, with the support of EU EQUAL Community Initiative funding, has established a nationally coordinated and locally delivered training programme designed to address specific needs of ethnic minority entrepreneurs. The aim is to encourage them to investigate business ideas, develop a business plan and essentially establish a business.

Based on a comprehensive and well thought out business plan Culturewise Ireland was awarded this top award in recognition of the excellent service and contribution it is making to the business community in Ireland. Highlighted at the awards ceremony was the fact that cities and towns throughout Ireland are becoming increasingly multicultural and that Irish businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the need to provide culturally responsive products and services if they wish to survive and develop into the future.

Answering this need, Culturewise Ireland programmes are designed for professionals who want to enrich the cultural capital of their organisations, bringing a unique mix of research based knowledge combined with real life experiences of people from different cultural backgrounds that are adjusting to life in Ireland. This gives unique opportunities for participants to learn about and get feedback on their services / products directly from “new communities” that are culturally different. Importantly all of the programmes are tailored to meet the specific needs of the client.

Speaking on the success of Culturewise Dr. Alvina Grosu, Managing Director stated “I am delighted to receive this award, as it is a means of recognising the changing face of Irish Business. Cultural diversity training is becoming increasingly important in the day to day operations of a business, if we are to succeed. Since my arrival in Ireland in 2001 from Moldova I have been fortunate to combine my personal experienceas an immigrant living in Ireland and professional knowledge and skills, creating a unique package designed to help public and private organisations operate confidently and successfully in contemporary Multicultural Ireland. However, without the support of the Sout Cork Enterprise Board none of this would be possible. The training, support and motivation I have received from them has been excellent”.

Culturewise Ireland is actively working for the future of Irish society and believes there are simple things that could be done now, at ground level, to create the opportunities for integration of new communities into host society and to develop links between established businesses and new emerging, ethnic ones. The company believes it is our corporate social responsibility to do so. Commenting on Culturewise achievement Sean O’ Sullivan, CEO South Cork Enterprise Board, said “We are delighted to give Culturewise this award, which acknowledges the hard work she has put into Culturewise. It is rewarding to see the progress Alvina has made over the past twelve months, with the support of the South Cork Enterprise Board. It is very important for us to recognise the entrepreneurial spirit coming into the country and support it accordingly. The “Emerge” Programme has enabled individuals like Alvina to establish their own businesses and meet the challenges with confidence”.

Dr. Grosu brings a level of professional skill and personal approachability to her work which is of a high professional standard. The testimonial I have heard Dr. Grosu and I am pleased to say that she engaged the audience in her presentation of the cultural aspects of medical illness. She used humour and audience participation both to reflect on the issues. Dr. Grosu approach was entirely suited to the audience of medical students drawn from a wide variety of cultures.