Are you are interested in becoming self-employed? Do you run an existing business and are keen to grow?
Come along and hear the fascinating stories behind some of the city’s best and brightest businesses.
Each EPiC session features a local entrepreneur who will talk about how they got started and the journey they undertook for growth. These inspirational stories will address the questions aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners face including:
- How do I get the confidence to take the first step into business?
- How do I know my idea will work?
- Where can I get the money to start or grow my business?
- Who can I talk to for advice and support?
This is the first series of enterprise events delivered in community settings throughout Belfast.
To attend, please complete the online registration form for your preferred session.
Gillian Killiner – 121 Dietitian
"After having my third child I returned to my job as a specialist haematology dietitian in the National Health Service (NHS). Unfortunately my son was unwell for the first two years of his life and along with my other two kids aged two and four, I really struggled. I sadly resigned from my post and took time out to look after my children and decide how to keep my qualifications valid. After completing a start a business programme, I set up 121 Dietitian. My business has gone from strength to strength and I have a busy clinic in Belfast which I run from 9am - 3pm, collect the kids and then return to work 7pm - 10pm in the evening. My kids are older now but they still need me and this routine works for us.
Challenges: Running a business takes a great deal of input and some weeks there is no pay but you are working, and other weeks it is manic so you have to be strong to take the good with the bad. Competition is always there, so you should have a niche product - easier said than done. You have to learn to look after yourself as you can end up never taking a break. Getting the right advice and help is a big one, as it is so easy to not move out of your comfort zone."
Paula Heaney – Skinny Malinkys
"I developed an autoimmune condition called chronic urticaria in 2008. I had tried everything medically possible, none of it worked, and the next option was intravenous immune suppressant drugs. I talked to my consultant and told him I had a friend with a brain tumour who took less medication and that I wanted to find another way to cure my condition.
At the time redundancies were on offer at my place of work, which I accepted. I watched a show called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" the guy on the show, Joe Cross, had the same condition as me and he cured it through juicing. I tried it for myself and although I haven't cured it, I am healthier and better at keeping it under control. I happened to have a wedding in California the same year and off I went ready to research everything I could on juicing and how I could make it healthier.
It was there that I discovered the different types of juicing and why cold pressed was best. I discovered juice being pulled from a beer like tap and that blew my mind! How did they do it? How come the juice tasted so good and so fresh? Some of the answers I discovered there, but it took a while to find out how the juices had a decent shelf life. I started my business, with an aim of making healthy, nourishing juice accessible to as many people as possible. And I eventually found out their process and was delighted to discover we could use the same process here in Belfast, and that changed everything."
Denise Burns - Omnibus Home
Denise Burns is the owner of Omnibus Home, a luxury retailer of home accessories, furniture, gifts and art. She was formerly the group company secretary for Age NI (2009 – 2013) and corporate assurance manager for Helm Housing (now Radius Housing 2013 – 2018). Prior to her governance career Denise was a primary school teacher from 2002 – 2005.
She has a degree in Modern Studies in Humanities from Ulster University and an MSc in Management and Corporate Governance and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
She currently holds two trusteeships; sitting on the board of the Irish FA Foundation, and St Mary’s Football Club. She was the first person in Northern Ireland to achieve the ICSA Advanced Certificate in Sports Governance and Administration.
Please note: Denise will be speaking at the session in Ardoyne Community Centre on Thursday 13 September only.