Fire walking feat - Minority entrepreneurs show anything is possible

Dublin, May 2007: Fire walking has been practiced in many cultures for centuries. The art of fire walking was demonstrated recently by participants of the 'Start Your Own Business Course for Minority Entrepreneurs' run by the DIT Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship. The 21 participants, from 12 countries, traversed coals reaching 500 degrees Fahrenheit to show that with the right mind-set anything is possible, including starting your own business.

Albert Owusu

According to Dr Thomas Cooney, Director of the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship; 'Many of our participants have the challenge of a disability to overcome, are socio-economically disadvantaged or are facing cultural discrimination. The idea behind the fire walk was to close the programme by demonstrating to the participants how to overcome challenges that previously might have been seen as insurmountable. It is a unique and memorable way to show them that anything is possible.'

Satwinder Singh

Marie Carroll and Marie O'Keeffe, are Ireland's first female Fire walk Instructors and Directors of Unlock Your, a company that specialises in personal development strategies. They attribute the phenomenon of fire walking to the unstoppable power of the focused mind. 'Fire walking is a metaphor for breakthrough and personal change' said Marie Carroll. 'If you can walk on fire, there are no limits to what you can achieve with the right mind set.'

Gerry Kerr

The nine week 'Start Your Own Business' programme was specifically tailored to the needs of minority entrepreneurs based upon research undertaken by the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship. It was found that many entrepreneurs from minority communities come at entrepreneurship from a negative experience. Due to discrimination and prejudice, they may be unable to progress their career or even get a job, so they look to start up their own business instead. This means that it is imperative that the course builds the person as much as builds the business. Through research carried out at the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship it was recognised that there was the critical need for personal development to be a central element of the 'Start Your Own Business' programme. This element of the course was undertaken by Marie Carroll and Marie O'Keefe of Unlock Your

Marie Carroll explained that 'the firewalk was the wrap-up and celebration of the nine week IME 'Start Your Own Business' programme and we were delighted to be involved in this ground breaking initiative with the Institute of Minority Entrepreneurs. Participants walked over coals at about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and this experience will provide a life long reference point for what is possible when the mind is focused.'

The Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship is currently developing new courses for a wide variety of minority communities, such as people with disabilities, immigrants, socio-economically disadvantaged, travellers, and prisoners. These courses will begin from September and will be available online from 2008. The mission statement for the Institute is 'to offer all of the people of minority groups in Ireland equal opportunity to maximise their economic and social potential through entrepreneurship research, education, training, and mentoring'.

For further information visit  or contact:
Dr Thomas Cooney
Director, Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship
Dublin Institute of Technology
Aungier Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 402 7075
Fax: 01 402 7198

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