Women in Business welcome leading entrepreneur Alex Depledge MBE to headline the All-Ireland Entrepreneurs Conference
From the story of raising the largest venture capital funding ever for a solely women-owned business, to a stellar line-up of inspiring businesswomen bringing focused insights and practical learnings, it’s set to be an unmissable event
Mark the date in your diary: 16 June sees the All-Ireland Entrepreneurs Conference take place at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co Down. Curated by Women in Business and now in its fourth year, if you’re an entrepreneur and want to invest in yourself and your business, you won’t want to miss this.
With a theme of ‘Dare to Compete’ across the day, the keynote speaker is UK entrepreneur Alex Depledge MBE. The West Yorkshire woman left her job as a consultant in Accenture in 2012 to co-found helping.com with Jules Coleman. The London-based platform for booking house cleaners gained backing from venture capital firm Accel Partners (they famously invested in some names you might be familiar with, such as Spotify and the company formerly known as Facebook).
Depledge and Coleman set the bar high, winning the largest venture capital funding ever for a solely women-owned business (€26 million). After scaling across Europe, the business was acquired in 2015 for a record €31 million and the founders went on to become serial entrepreneurs, with new venture Resi, aimed at homeowners renovating and extending their homes, offering a one-stop shop for design, contractors and finance.
Depledge, will be reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey and sharing some of the secrets of her success, including how to scale up a business without losing the culture that made it special, while keeping customer needs at the centre of your business. Looking forward to the all-island event, she says, “I’m excited to be invited to speak at such an inspirational event with so many incredible women in attendance. I’m also really excited to hear from the wealth of other speakers and to hopefully create an atmosphere in the room which will stimulate and encourage the audience of successful businesswomen to go on and push themselves and their companies even further.”
Leading the wonderful line up of inspirational women will be conference host Naomh McElhatton, CEO & co-founder of Dara & Co., who in 2019 was listed as one of Ireland’s top five entrepreneurs to watch. Kicking things off will be publisher Norah Casey, known to many from her stint on Dragon’s Den. The queen of the career pivot, she went from nursing to publishing and the glamour of the magazine world.
All the while she has let nothing faze her, speaking out about historic domestic abuse in her first marriage to the grief of losing her second husband to cancer. Now battling the onset of Type 1 Diabetes brought on by Covid, it seems to have only spurred her on to make the most of every moment, racking up stamps on her passport from the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival in just the last few months – a truly unstoppable force.
In her Focus Session, renowned brand and marketing consultant Aisling Bremner will be dishing the secret sauce she uses to turn brands into household names. She has over 20 years’ experience working with iconic global brands including Heinz, Budweiser, Coors Light and market leading local brands including Dale Farm, Queen’s University Belfast, Propertynews and Keylite. The straight-talking strategist will be sharing her insights on the process of building your brand, consistently connecting with your consumers, and getting real results.
Francesca Morelli is the founder of VAVA Influence, Northern Ireland’s first influencer marketing agency. The 2019 graduate is also Enterprise Development Officer at Queen’s University Belfast Student Union (QUBSU), helping to empower other students with big dreams to launch their own business. VAVA Influence regularly hold masterclasses on various aspects of social media, giving attendees the practical knowledge needed to carry out social media activity for their business. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to up your social media game, don’t miss Francesca’s Focus Session.
Also appearing is Melanie Breslin, CEO of Elite Mindset Academy, a mindset coach who works with clients to develop their limitless potential and provides ambitious people with the tools to implement lasting change in their lives. If you’re stuck in a rut, or simply can’t figure out how to shift out of first gear into fifth, this certified Proctor Gallagher consultant will open your eyes to the possibilities. As she says, the moment you decide that you want more, everything changes.
Along with this unique opportunity for cross-border opportunities and growing your network of connections, not to mention the Focus Sessions filled with insights and practical learnings from industry experts, there will also be a pitching competition, in which two entrepreneurs will be in with the chance to win a €2,000 prize fund for their business.
The Women in Business All-Island Entrepreneurs Conference is an unmissable day out if you want to invest in yourself and your business. Come and dare to compete, alongside over 350 leading business founders, innovators, and influencers across the island.
Visit womeninbusinessni.com now to secure your ticket.