All-Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference 2021


The inaugural all island Female Entrepreneurs Conference will take place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th June as a virtual event broadcasting live from Belfast and Dublin. 

Sarah Travers will host the conference from a studio in Belfast and Norah Casey will present live from Dublin.  This interactive hybrid conference will push the boundaries of innovation and will feature an array of international keynote speakers, renowned and respected female entrepreneurs from across the island of Ireland, along with the exciting pitching from competition brought to you by the Yes You Can Programme.

Attendees will benefit from these inspiring speakers, motivational talks, uplifting performances and the all-important mentoring and networking opportunities generated from the event.

WHY you NEED to register for All-Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference today!

  • Day 1 KEYNOTE - Mary Portas - Learn how to sell

  • Day 2 KEYNOTE - Orla Kiely- Learn how to build a brand

  • All-Island networking opportunities - Build your Network

  • "Ambition, Mindset, Growth" Local to Global Entrepreneurs 

  • The Secrets to Start-Up Success

  • Pitch Perfect Masterclass

  • Yes You Can live pitching final

  • Your customer - post-pandemic 

Click below to find out more about our amazing speakers.

P.s Be sure to secure your ticket, as this is an event not to be missed! Cost: £30/€30 +VAT


Past Conferences

Date: 10 June 2021

Location: Online

Host: Sarah Travers and Norah Casey

Charge: £30


The inaugural all island Female Entrepreneurs Conference will take place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th June as a virtual event broadcasting live from Belfast and Dublin. 
Sarah Travers will host the conference from a studio in Belfast and Norah Casey will present live from Dublin.  This interactive hybrid conference will push the boundaries of innovation and will feature an array of international keynote speakers, renowned and respected female entrepreneurs from across the island of Ireland, along with the exciting pitching from competition brought to you by the Yes You Can Programme.

Attendees will benefit from these inspiring speakers, motivational talks, uplifting performances and the all-important mentoring and networking opportunities generated from the event.

WHY you NEED to register for All-Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference today!

  • Day 1 KEYNOTE - Mary Portas
  • Day 2 KEYNOTE - Orla Kiely
  • All-Island networking opportunities 
  • "Ambition, Mindset, Growth" Local to Global Entrepreneurs Panel
  • The Secrets to Start-Up Success Panel
  • Pitch Perfect Masterclass
  • Yes You Can live pitching final
  • Changing consumer behaviour post-pandemic webinar

Click below to find out more about our amazing speakers.

Mary Portas

Mary Portas

Queen of Shops, entrepreneur and government advisor

Retail expert Mary Portas has advised government, transformed both luxury and high street stores, written books and produced a host of retail and business-themed TV programmes. The Chief Creative Officer of her own retail consultancy, and author of Work Like a Woman: A Manifesto For Change, she delivers an inspiring message of how businesses and individuals can adapt, transform and lead.
A determined, passionate advocate for British retail, Mary is at the forefront of making the nation better consumers and the country’s shops better businesses. Starting her career the shop floor, she rose through the ranks of retail giants John Lewis, Harrods and TopShop. She was then appointed Creative Director at the struggling Harvey Nichols store. With the aid of cutting edge artists, designers, and a TV show called Absolutely Fabulous, Mary turned it into a retail powerhouse and was on the board of the company by the age of 30. She has since worked with some of the world’s premier retail and product brands including Westfield, Clark's, Dunhill, Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, Estée Lauder and Boden.
Mary’s style and insight saw her combine advising retailers with a television career. Her breakthrough, BBC Two’s Mary, Queen of Shops saw her help turnaround struggling small retail businesses. In Channel 4’s Secret Shopper, she went undercover in some of the nation’s biggest retailers to expose poor customer service. She’s since fronted series on charity shops, fashion, manufacturing, and her efforts to rejuvenate the high street. She’s also looked at retail and product trends in What Britain Buys and the lack of choice for older shoppers.
In speeches and talks Mary discusses the changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the economy, the digital revolution and efforts to protect the environment. With critical insight, she examines how different retail sectors are responding and how brands of all shapes and sizes can best stand out. She also looks at the mistakes retailers make, and how to fix them.
Mary’s high profile government review into struggling British high streets led to the creation of pilot regeneration projects around the UK and a new focus on what town centres are for and their place in social and business life. Mary is also the author of books including How to Shop with Mary Queen of Shops, Windows: The Art of Retail Display and her memoir Shop Girl. She has founded two retail consultancies working with both luxury and high street brands, and has launched her own fashion and footwear brands. She also founded the charity shop Mary’s Living and Giving, which went on to open 25 stores and raise millions for Save TheChildren.
Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely

Hear the journey of Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely. A brand recognised internationally, you can learn how Orla grew and expanded her business over the years.

The creative world Orla found herself in now started with a simple idea to design a collection of bags and accessories in a rainbow of prints, always joyful and happy with an emphasis on functionality.

Dermott and Orla established Orla Kiely in 1995, the year their oldest son was born.  Orla had a passion for colour and with much of fashion at the time immersed in black, their brand from the very beginning stood out and was noticed.  Orla always loved mid-century design and trawled the markets in Portobello or Montreuil in Paris for vintage treasures, especially objects or clothing from the sixties and seventies helping to feed her passion and establish her style.  With little funds but lots of enthusiasm, they started their company, Dermott's business with Orla's creative, dedicated to colour and pattern.  This was their first step along a winding path and the start of a journey filled with challenges and successes in equal measures, life was never boring.

Bill Liao

Bill Liao

Entrepreneur, Investor & Co-Founder of Coderdojo

Australian entrepreneur, venture capital investor, diplomat, author and speaker with a distinguished record in the areas of business, development and community activism, Bill is co-founder of the CoderDojo movement, a free global network formed to assist young people to learn how to computer program and Founder of Weforest, a global movement dedicated to planting trees and which now has seen 14.5 million planted around the world.  He is a general partner with SOSV a $300m international accelerator venture capital fund and runs a life sciences Accelerator Program, Rebelbio, in Cork, focusing on entrepreneurs building technologies in or around the field of living things.

Previously, Bill co-founded XING, a pioneering business social networking platform in 2003 and served as COO of Davnet a telecommunications carrier that went public in the late 90’s.  Bill serves as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitt’s and Nevis, with an emphasis on sustainable development and the environment.  He is also chair of the investment committee of the Nominet Trust in the UK.  Author of three books, he is a regular speaker at many events and venues such as The London School of Economics, The World Economic Forum, The Globe Forum in Sweden, The House of Commons and TED as well as TEDx.

Alyson Hogg MBE

Alyson Hogg MBE

Creator and founder of Vita Liberata

Alyson Hogg MBE, is the creator and founder of the hugely successful sunless tan company Vita Liberata. 

Having sold a majority stake to New York investment house Hildred Capital, she now helps high growth brands to realise their potential in local and international markets. 

As a brand imagineer she uses her experience of the multi disciplined demands required to successfully enter and win at retail. Her renowned business acumen has won her many awards, including the MBE for services to industry, and two Queens Awards for export. Having led teams in trade, online, print and event marketing, as well as product innovation,  logistics, finance, sales and the brand plan, Alyson’s global retail experience is key to her success. From identifying the purpose, to assisting new product development, mentoring talented people and creating the plans that turn vision into reality,  her 360 approach to business strategy, and her ‘Make it Happen” philosophy, adds unique value to the companies she supports. 

Dr Roisin Molloy

Dr Roisin Molloy

Health Tech entrepreneur

Dr Roisin Molloy, CEO TriMedika: Biochemist with over 25 years’ experience in product research & development, sales and marketing of medical products into international hospital markets. TriMedika is an ISO 13485 certified company where we design, develop, manufacture, and distribute innovative medical devices to hospitals all over the world. TriMedika's first device to market is TRITEMP™;a non-contact, medical grade thermometer, which is used by 1000s of healthcare professionals to deliver greater efficiencies that will benefit patients by reducing infection spread, lowering costs, and eliminating plastic waste in hospitals. The  TRITEMP™ is now on the NHS framework, used in 20 countries; including 22 of the Top ranking 100 hospitals in Germany. 

Elizabeth Buchanan

Elizabeth Buchanan

As Chief Commercial Officer, Elizabeth Buchanan leads the strategy and execution for Rokt’s marketing, people, and new business departments. Elizabeth was one of the founding team alongside her husband Bruce (CEO) when Rokt was formed in 2012.

Elizabeth has had a distinguished career in the technology, digital and marketing/advertising industries with more than 20 years of experience with major brands including Yahoo!, Uber and WPP. Elizabeth most recently held the office of President, Global Transformation at OMD, part of Omnicom. As a member of the OMD Global EXCO, Elizabeth shared the responsibility for 11,000+ employees in 100+ markets around the world managing $43b+ of media spend for clients including Apple, PepsiCo, Nissan, Intel and Bacardi. Elizabeth is also a proven entrepreneur having founded The White Agency in Australia, which she built from a startup into the most revered digital agency in the country. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, they were responsible for the full-service digital needs for Australia’s largest clients including Telstra, Coca-Cola South Pacific, and Commonwealth Bank. Elizabeth successfully exited The White Agency when she sold it to STW Group, now WPP, and it continues to thrive today.

In addition to her role at Rokt, Elizabeth currently holds board positions with the NGO Vital Voices Global Partnership and S4 Capital (LON: SFOR). Elizabeth lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and four of their five children (one has already flown the nest!).
Sorcha McKenna

Sorcha McKenna

Sorcha McKenna is the Managing Partner of the Dublin McKinsey office. She has worked there for the past 18 years, largely on driving transformational change in healthcare and consumer. Prior to joining McKinsey, Sorcha studied for a degree in microbiology at Trinity College Dublin and obtained a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the same institution. 
Pamela Laird

Pamela Laird

Beauty expert and brand owner

Pamela Laird. The name that everyone who’s anyone in the Irish beauty industry has heard, and used, on more than one occasion. 

She’s the first point of call when you need your nails ahead of photoshoot to be, well... nailed. She’s also on the last-dialled list of models, editors and beauty experts thanks to her expertise in pretty much every aspect in the beautisphere. 

Pamela has since switched focus and is the creator of the revolutionary beauty brand Moxi Loves. 

Moxi Loves is the hottest name in the industry and is bringing innovative, clever, clean beauty products to the masses. At the forefront of emerging trends, the brand is designed to make travel beauty simple, fun and affordable. 
​The brand was developed through Pamela's experiences growing up. Her mother owned her own beauty salon and from a young age Pam was completely involved in all things cosmetic. It wasn't long before she herself became completely focused with the products and she decided her passion was clear.

With her mother owning her own beauty salon, Pam found herself immersed in the beauty industry and it wasn't long before she became totally obsessed. 

For her, there really was never any other option other than beauty, and a few years ago Pamela recognised the opportunity to create something that could really make a difference. 

She decided to make changes to current products on the market, and focused on making good skincare and beauty hacks available to all, and Moxi Loves was born!

“I wanted convenient products, but without having to compromise on the quality. Moxi Loves is all about the minimal, considered ingredients. We develop smart, quick, practical bits of kit designed to simplify your beauty routine"

Pauric McGowan

Pauric McGowan

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Development

Pauric McGowan, Ph.D. is the Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business development at the Ulster University Business School.  He has been involved in entrepreneurship education and the training and mentoring of owner-managers of entrepreneurial small to medium sized enterprises, as well as executive training and mentoring, for over 30 years, as a member of the Northern Ireland Small Business Institute in the mid-to-late nineties and between 2002 and 2010 as the Director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship. In this latter role he was responsible for leading the challenge to embed entrepreneurial learning and practice across faculties, including Science, Engineering and Technology’ within the two universities in Northern Ireland and Loughrey College, a uniquely transformative challenge within the higher education sector.

He has supported the leading decision-makers within commercial, public and social enterprises to have the personal confidence to formulate and implement transformative change strategies and to measure and account for the impact of that change on their enterprise as appropriate. This is his speciality.

Susan Nightingale

Susan Nightingale

As Senior Manager with British Business Bank Susan works to raise awareness of finance options and increase the availability of start-up and growth capital for entrepreneurs and SMEs within NI and across the UK. Susan is also a Chartered Accountant and active member of the CAI Ulster Society Committee.  With 15 years Commercial Banking experience and 3 years Corporate Finance experience, including responsibility for the design, implementation and management of debt and equity funds within a £200m Access to Finance programme,  Susan has an in-depth knowledge of the SME funding environment.
Caroline O'Neill

Caroline O'Neill

Life has had so many twists and turns of late but Caroline is now on hernew Digg Mama journey. 

For the last 12 years Caroline had been the proprietor of DIGG Childrenswear which was a bricks and mortar store in County Tyrone Northern Ireland and online store also.  When Covid 19 hit, Caroline had to make big decisions for her business and her mental health. These were decisions Caroline didn’t make lightly, decisions which broke her heart yet also made her feel so free. Caroline has no regrets and is now on a new path, one which gives her fire in her belly again and makes her determined to make a difference in business and in life. During Caroline's time in DIGG Childrenswear she founded Digg For Success which is an organisation that helps businesses use social media to grow their brand and business. This has been a fantastic way for Caroline to meet and help, like minded individuals all wanting to push their business forward. 

In 2019 Caroline and her business partner Niamh Taylor (CEO Digital Twenty Four) founded the Northern Ireland Social Media Awards. Unfortunately due to Covid 19 they haven't been able to host the awards this year however they hope 2021 will bring better things for everyone and they can once again have a night with the stars.

Lately Caroline has found herself in a place whereby I needed a creative outlet for her busy mind. Caroline felt she needed to find something that she was good at and passionate about and let herself be "Caroline" again. 


Teri Smith

Teri Smith

Teri Smith is a Manager in the  Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up Division leading the  development of early stage innovative companies with scalable international growth potential. 
Teri is a passionate supporter of entrepreneurship and has 20 years of experience in business development and investment roles within Enterprise Ireland. During her career to date Teri  has influenced the growth of companies  across all stages of development from start-ups to established SME, Large  and multinational companies in ICT, Food, Life science, and Engineering and International services sectors. Teri has also held technical & commercial development roles in retail buying and product and brand development.
Anna Beggan

Anna Beggan

Anna joined Tughans as a Partner in June 2006 to head up the Employment Team and has grown and developed the team to now be one of the largest and most highly regarded in Northern Ireland.
Her substantial experience in advising clients on all aspects of employment law has gained her an excellent reputation in this field. Anna has a range of clients across a number of sectors. She regularly advises on employment issues arising out of the acquisition and merger of businesses and represents clients when appearing before the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal and in the High Court. Anna is experienced in defending highly complex class-action claims and in both prosecuting and defending urgent high-profile injunction applications.
Anna is also an accredited Mediator and is a council member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
Day 1
09.00 – 09.30             Pre-Conference Networking Session
09.30 – 09.40             Welcome from Sarah Travers in Belfast and Norah Casey in Dublin
09.40 – 09.45             Yes You Can sponsors message
                                    Nicky Scott, Women in Business
09.45 – 10.15             The Entrepreneurial Spirit
            Elizabeth Buchanan, Chief Commercial Officer, Rokt’s  
10.15 – 11.15             Local to global entrepreneurs panel – Ambition, Mindset, Growth
     Alyson Hogg, Vita Liberata
           Roisin Molloy, TriMedika
           Pamela Laird, Moxi Loves

11.15 – 11.45             Building your personal brand with Caroline O’Neill
11.45 – 12.25             In conversation with Mary Portas
12.25 – 12.30             Close of day one 
12.30                          Post-Conference Networking Session
Day 2
09.00 – 09.30              Pre-Conference Networking Session
09.30 – 09.35              Welcome from Sarah Travers in Belfast and Norah Casey in Dublin
09.35 – 10.10             Changing consumer behaviours post pandemic
           Sorcha McKenna, CEO of McKinsey Ireland
10.10 – 11.00              The Secrets to Start Up Success
           Susan Nightingale, British Business Bank
           Teri Smith, Enterprise Ireland
           Professor Pauric McGowan, Ulster University
           Anna Beggan, Tughans
           Gren Armstrong, Invest Northern Ireland
11.00 – 11.20              Pitch Perfect – key skills development on pitching
           Bill Liao, Coderdojo
11.20 – 11.40              Yes You Can pitching competition
11.40 - 12.25               Norah Casey in conversation with Orla Kiely
12.25 – 12.30              Close of Conference
Norah Casey

Norah Casey

Norah was anchor of the successful daily radio Breakfast Show on Newstalk and co-hosted The Today show on RTE 1 every Friday during the 2012/2013 season. In 2013, she decided to leave the successful business entrepreneur show Dragons’ Den to pursue a full-time career in radio and television. Her investment portfolio is diverse and includes online and traditional media businesses.

Norah is owner and Chairwoman of Ireland’s largest magazine publishing company Harmonia, printing over four million magazines annually for the Irish, British and USA market and selling on average 2.6 million in the Irish market annually. Harmonia publishes the top three best-selling women’s magazines in Ireland – Irish Tatler, Woman’s Way and U Magazine – along with a range of lifestyle and consumer titles such as Woman’s Way, CookBook, Food&Wine Magazine, Irish Tatler Man, Ireland of the Welcomes and Auto Ireland.

With a strong portfolio of brands and events from having run many successful publishing companies in London. A journalist and former nurse, Norah was awarded Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year 2007/8 and has been Ireland’s Publisher of the Year no fewer than four times. She has served on numerous boards, and is currently a member of the Press Council of Ireland, the London-based Women’s Irish Network and The International Women’s Forum.

Sarah Travers

Sarah Travers

Sarah is an experienced broadcast journalist and TV presenter, with a keen interest in stories and the people that shape them. Sarah is a familiar face to many in Northern Ireland, where she was news anchor in the BBC newsroom for 19 years. Sarah started her career with BBC Radio Foyle, and has presented lifestyle programming for UTV, Northern Ireland’s commercial TV channel.

Since setting up Bespoke Communications, Sarah has coached hundreds of people in media training, presentation skills and leadership development.  As Director of Bespoke Communications, Sarah develops media and crisis communications training programmes for a range of different organisations in the public, private and third sectors. She continues to appear on-screen as a TV presenter on a range of programmes and documentaries. Sarah holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Nottingham Trent University.

Click the image to view highlights of last years conference.


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