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The Briefing

Plant–Based Pioneer Ella Mills to Headline 2022 All–Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference

Plant–Based Pioneer Ella Mills to Headline 2022 All–Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference Banner

by Aiken PR


Over 400 attendees expected at interactive conference across Belfast and Dublin.

Women in Business has announced Ella Mills (‘Deliciously Ella’) as one of the headline speakers at its all–island Female Entrepreneurs Conference taking place next month.

On Tuesday 11 October, the award–winning food writer and businesswoman will accompany over 400 attendees at the conference, which will take place between live audiences on an all–island basis for the first time, while also interactively linking participants in Titanic Belfast and Dublin’s Gibson Hotel.

The theme of the conference, ‘I Did It My Way’, will anchor discussions on how female entrepreneurs have overcome challenges, as well as the opportunities they can explore across the island when scaling up their business.

In addition to Ella Mills, conference participants will hear from a range of leading female entrepreneurs from across the island, including Sonya Lennon (Work Equal), Jennifer Neff and Leeann Monk–Ozgul (Elemental) and Ailbhe Keane (Izzy Wheels), on the highs and lows of business development.

The event will share insights and signpost opportunities that will support women in overcoming gender disparity in the seeding, development and scaling up of businesses with recent data* revealing that £250bn could be added to the UK economy if women were to start and scale businesses at the same rate as men.

Lorraine Acheson, Managing Director of Women in Business, said: “I am delighted that Women in Business is celebrating entrepreneurial role models across the island and leading the discussion on the opportunities and challenges that female entrepreneurs face when scaling their businesses. We will hear from an eclectic mix of trailblazers and rising business start–ups on how they are doing it their way.

“Building on the success of last year’s hybrid event, the 2022 All–Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference is an opportunity to profile rising entrepreneurs from all over Ireland and signpost female–focused policies, programmes and funding that will help achieve equity and deliver meaningful, long–term change for the next generation of self–starters.”

Speaking on the recent rise in entrepreneurial activity, Lorraine added: “While female entrepreneurship is on the rise with over 1,500 companies established by women in Northern Ireland in 2021, double 2018’s figure, significant challenges remain for women to seed and grow their business. At Women in Business, we are proud to champion female business owners and help kindle a female enterprise ecosystem across the island. We are calling on women across all sectors from all four corners of the island to join us in this important discussion.”

Speaking ahead of the event, Ella Mills touched on her own journey into entrepreneurship: “Consistency is critical to me, especially as our business grew. I had to be across so many elements, 24/7, 365 days a year, there’s a relentlessness to owning your own business that people don’t talk about enough and the only way to grow is to continue to put everything you have into what you’re doing every day. I am looking forward to sharing my entrepreneurial journey to inspire women across Ireland and to help shape the future of their businesses.”

Topics that will be discussed at the event will include:

• Increasing access to funding for female entrepreneurs

• Accessing markets across the island and beyond

• Increasing entrepreneurship support through relatable and accessible mentors and networks.

The conference is being hosted by Sarah Travers in Belfast and Norah Casey in Dublin and is sponsored by InterTradeIreland and the Yes You Can female enterprise support programme. Six winners of the Yes You Can pitching competition will pitch live in Belfast at the conference and the winner as voted by the audience will receive an additional £2,000 for their business idea. Associate sponsors include Enterprise Ireland, Glandore, Innovate UK, IQ&Co and the British Business Bank.