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This kick-off event is designed for those who are interested in learning more about starting and running a business, bringing together successful business founders and owners who will share their experiences and stories to inspire you, no matter what your future ambitions.

Hosted by Sarah Travers, you will hear from successful, high profile entrepreneurs Eleanor McEvoy, Linzi Rooney and Sarah McAnallen.


  • 3pm - Welcome Sarah Travers
  • 3:05pm - Sarah McAnallen
  • 3:15pm - Linzi Rooney
  • 3:25pm - Eleanor McEvoy
  • 3:40 - Q&A

The Speakers

Eleanor McEvoy

Entrepreneurship Ambassador for Northern Ireland, Energy Entrepreneur and Dragoness.

Serial entrepreneur Eleanor McEvoy is the CEO of Next-Gen Power — a green energy business focused on bringing renewable electricity to the masses through affordable solar panel and battery technology.

A two-time EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Eleanor broke new ground by becoming the first private supplier of electricity in the Northern Ireland when she founded Budget Energy. She’s also the Ambassador for Entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.

Sarah McAnallen

Sarah McAnallen is the CEO of McAnallen, a design-focused business that creates products with the purpose of making life easier for individuals with mobility issues.

While studying Product Design at Ulster University, Sarah worked closely with her mum, who had a stroke, to design a range of products including the Sock-Aid: a beautifully designed product that allows people with restricted ability to put on their own socks with one hand, while in a seated position and without the need to bend down. It was out of this personal experience that McAnallen was born.

After winning countless awards and pitches, including IoD overall UK student director of the year, Sarah has now graduated and is working full time on her business.

Linzi Rooney

Linzi Rooney, 35, runs Born and Bred. Established in 2018, as a rebrand to Studio Souk, it showcases products and producers from across Northern Ireland, telling a distinctive story of place.

In Linzi’s words,

“the local, the unique, the authentic, needs to be the story that the city tells the world.”

Linzi trained as a photographer, retrained as a silversmith, and started selling her jewellery at monthly pop-up events before she set on her current path.

Born and Bred is Lonely Planet’s top choice for arts and crafts in the city and has featured as one of the top 10 places to shop in Belfast by the New York Times along the way. It has recently just received Gift Shop of the Year - Northern Ireland by Prestige Awards.

Event info

This event has ended

Wednesday 21 October

3pm to 4pm


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