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The Briefing

Mary Portas announced as guest speaker at Inaugural All Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference

Mary Portas announced as guest speaker at Inaugural All Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference Banner

by Aiken PR


Women in Business, Northern Ireland’s largest and fastest growing network for female entrepreneurs and business leaders, has announced its inaugural All–Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference.

It has been estimated that up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men. Meanwhile, Ireland had the highest gender gap in self–employment in the EU prior to Covid–19.

The conference aims to recognise and address these difficulties, breaking down barriers for female entrepreneurs to achieve their aspirations and unlock the potential that exists within the economy for them.

Over 1,000 attendees are expected to tune in to the two–day virtual conference, which will be broadcast live from Belfast and Dublin on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th June. Beginning at 9:30am, both days will be hosted by Sarah Travers and Norah Casey, with motivational panel discussions on ambition and mindset, and insights into how changing consumer behaviours will develop in the post–pandemic world.

As an interactive hybrid conference, the conference will push the boundaries of innovation and feature an array of international keynote speakers, renowned and respected female entrepreneurs, including ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas, one of the UK’s leading voices on retail and brand communication.

Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of Women in Business, said: 

“I am delighted that Women in Business have been able to launch the first of its kind large–scale conference on the island of Ireland dedicated to female entrepreneurship with the All–Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference this summer.

“Across the two–day event, we will profile rising entrepreneurs from all over Ireland and learn from female trailblazers who have helped crack the glass ceiling. There’s no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise and together we will put female–founded businesses across the island on the map. Join us at the event to accelerate your growth and challenge your mind on all things business.”

Topics that will be discussed at the event will include:

• Increasing the funding directed towards female entrepreneurs

• What support can facilitate ambition and growth

• Making entrepreneurship more accessible for women and increasing support locally, through relatable and accessible mentors and networks

The conference is being sponsored by the Yes You Can female enterprise support programme. Their 6 regional winners will pitch on the Friday and the winner as voted by the audience will receive an additional £2,000 for their business idea at the event. Associate sponsors include InterTradeIreland, Planet Woman, Tughans and British Business Bank.

Mary Portas, retail consultant and broadcaster, known for her retail and business–related television shows such as Mary Queen of Shops, said: 

“I’m very excited to speak at the inaugural all–island Female Entrepreneurs Conference on June 10th and 11th. I’m very passionate about encouraging women to become entrepreneurs and increasing the number of women–led start–ups. I understand that women face different challenges than male business owners, as well as the way they think and run their business, this makes a real difference to success rates. I look forward to sharing my experience and advice with the audience and answer any questions people wish to ask me about my career.”