SFA/ICSB Launches "Mentors without Boarders"

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

- SFA & ICSB (International Council for Small Business) Launch “Mentors Without Borders” Programme.

The Small Firms Association (SFA) in partnership with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) today launched the first “Mentors without Borders Programme”.

Speaking at the launch, SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan stated “The mission of the programme is to connect leaders and entrepreneurs from countries around the world in active dialogue about challenges in their business, enabling them to create and implement solutions. Participants will develop the skills that one can’t find in the classroom – sharing the challenges mentors have faced and their lessons learnt throughout their careers and working to find solutions to current problems for Irish small business owners.”

Dr Ayman El Tarabishy, Executive Director, ICSB commented: “Mentors without Borders” gives an opportunity for leaders in the area of business, education, and policy to share their expertise and experiences internationally. This transformative experience enriches global perspectives and creates responsible leaders by engaging the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and leaders across cultures and in the business, technology, education and many other fields.”

The pilot programme is running in Trinity College Dublin this morning (Wednesday, 11th June), with three Irish small business entrepreneurs (mentees) being matched with three international business leaders (mentors) to facilitate discussion on the small business owner’s challenges and needs. The mentees on the pilot are Anne Cusack, Critical Healthcare (Westmeath), Cameron Wallace, Eight Degrees Brewing (Cork) and Kathleen Ward, Kathleen Ward Health Clinic (Monaghan). Mentors include Jim Beers, Certified Public Accountant, Beers & Culter and Managing General Partner, PowerSmith Cogeneration Project; Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, VISA; Dr. Jeffrey Alves, Dean, Sidhu School of Business, Wilkes University and President, International Council for Small Business.

SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan concluded: “Today is just the start. Following today’s successful launch event, it is the intention to continue the pilot by on-going exchanges between the Irish mentee and the international mentors over the next number of months. We look forward to evaluating the pilot and to rolling out this opportunity to more SFA members throughout the country, and indeed to working with the ICSB to roll out the initiative throughout the globe.”

For interviews, please call AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman at Tel: 086-2592610

For further information, please contact:
Patricia Callan, Director, SFA at Tel: 01-6051602 or 087-6999345 or e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie. www.sfa.ie/events

Dr Ayman El Tarabishy, Executive Director, ICSB at Tel: 01-202-468-3133 or email: aymanelt@icsb.org. www.icsb.org