Multicultural Business Council, a Rochester Hills, Michigan, cultural empowerment organization, has experienced rapid growth during its first 9 months of existence. The organization has enlisted 655 corporate members representing 38 countries!
Typical members have operations in multiple countries or companies seeking to reach out to specific cultures. Therefore the reach of MBC goes much further as many of members have thousands of employees in multiple countries. Luxottica Group of Milan, Italy, operates eye care centers and manufacturing plants around the world. Their brands include Lenscrafters and Sunglass Hut and they have hundreds of thousands of employees. MBC provides Luxottica with an additional global web presence through the growing mbcglobal.org website. My Neat Site, a website developer in Siberia, has used their MBC presence to reach out to customers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
MBC differs from local chambers in that a typical chamber member is a local business attempting to build commerce in their local area. MBC members are generally companies that are international in nature. Whereas a local hospital would benefit from the local chamber, international hospitals fit the MBC membership target. The Mayo Clinic with operations in the United States and Mexico turned to MBC co-founder William Kaafarani when they needed help opening a clinic in the United Arab Emirates.
Countries with a corporate headquarters or regional office where a key contact is employed include Argentina, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and United States of America. A full listing of members is available online.
Some very simple efforts have had success. “We added a Holiday Center to the website to provide a single point for education about the five key holidays in December,” says Weaver. “We received several possible comments including a professor from The Johns Hopkins University. She thought it was the best and most concise single-point overview of the holiday origins and customs. As simple as the site is, it shows the real hunger people have to understand the cultures of the world.”
In addition to memberships, MBC offers direct services including employee assessments culturally accurate in 18 languages. The assessments allow individuals to take the pre-hire or employee development assessments in their primary language while supervisors receive the results in their primary, even if it is different from the language in which the assessment was taken.
MBC's future includes cultural tours and expanded avenues to create targeted education and marketing for our members. “We will be making several significant and groundbreaking announcements during our next quarter,” says Weaver.
Based on successes to-date, MBC is definitely on a successful growth path which should continue long into the future.