East Belfast Enterprise (EBE) successfully launched the start of its Erasmus+ funded ENTER programme at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

The programme is innovative and ambitious, as it aims to work with colleagues from Croatia, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland to investigate the role that enterprise and entrepreneurship can play in providing a platform for people from different cultures and traditions to engage and collaborate, thereby breaking down perceived or actual barriers.

The genesis of this concept is from the unique circumstances that face entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland and particularly those working and living in interface areas in Belfast. EBE is located on an interface in east Belfast and has experience of providing services and facilities that have enabled people from the different traditions on each side of this interface to engage and work for mutual benefit.

As the migrant crises in Europe escalates and communities of people from different faiths and cultural backgrounds start to meet and, in some cases clash, mechanisms by which those from different cultures and traditions can be brought together in a non-threatening and mutually beneficial environment will become more important. This is what the ENTER programme aims to examine and bring some guidance to through our work with our European partners.

At the first partner meeting, EBE welcomed our European partners and met with MLAs and Business leaders for a meeting at Stormont. The next stage of the programme is to engage with local stakeholders and EBE is looking forward to leading the debate at the first stakeholder meeting, planned for 27th January 2016.

For information or to get involved in the ENTER programme, contact Jonathan McAlpin at jonathan@eastbelfast.org or on 028 9094 2010.