BUSINESS DIARY . . . events coming up

LUNCH & LEARN: Niamh Taylor (centre), managing director of Digital 24 is joined by Denise Black, director of centre of learning of WiB Group and Nicky Scott, head of programmes & development to launch Lunch & Learn, an innovative new pay as you go digital marketing training programme which, from £40 per person, aims to give attendees practical steps to implement immediately to help grow their business or organisation. For more information or to book go to


:: The Institute of Directors (IoD) has begun its annual search for Northern Ireland’s leading directors with the launch of the Director of the Year awards.

Now in its 13th year, the awards celebrate the achievements and leadership of directors across a range of industries and will once again be held in partnership with AIB.

Leaders from the public, private and third sectors will be recognised across 12 different categories including Family Business Director of the Year, Young Director of the Year and the esteemed Chair’s Award in Excellence in Director and Board Practice.

This year’s awards will also honour those who have made achievements in areas such as innovation, international, and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

All entries must be received before midnight on October 20, and winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony in Belfast’s Merchant Hotel on December 8.

At that ceremony, judges will present a special accolade to an individual leader who has made an exceptional contribution to the local business world. This honour went to NIE Networks chair Dame Rotha Johnston.


:: Accountancy practice Harbinson Mulholland is harnessing the power of responsible and sustainable business practice to encourage family businesses in the north to be a “Force for Good” at its annual conference at W5 in Belfast on September 20 - the eve of this year’s National Family Business Day.

Under the auspices of the firm’s NI Family Business Forum, the event, jointly hosted by Ulster University Business School, will go beyond the issue of net zero targets and delve into all aspects of building an enduring enterprise fit for future generations.

A raft of topics including philanthropy and leaving a legacy, sustainability, creating a world class culture, next gen leadership transition and adapting a lean manufacturing mindset for continuous improvement and growth will all be addressed by guest speakers and a panel of experts and business owners.

There will be presentations from local and nationally owned family companies including Lynas Food Group, Smiley Monroe and Seating Matters, and the keynote speaker will be Darren Burns, director of inclusion and diversity with Timpson Group, the UK's leading retail service provider employing 5,000 people at 1,934 owned stores and 115 Snappy Snaps across the UK and Ireland.

Places are reserved exclusively for family businesses. Book a place via Treena Clarke at



St George's Market in Belfast, which will host the Belfast Jobs Fair on October 10. Belfast City Council, with support from the Belfast Labour Market Partnership and Department for Communities, is behind the free event, which will bring a host of employers and support organisations under one roof as part of its #TakeTheNextStep employability and skills programme. Those registered span fields from bakery and business services to education, energy providers and facilities management to security, transport and logistic companies, recruitment agencies and tech companies



:: Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) NI has launched a heritage programme, running from September 23 to January 24 to encourage training and development within the heritage sector and help address skills shortages within the built heritage sector in Northern Ireland.

The training courses are reflective of the current skills shortage in traditional skills areas and range from lime plastering, to stone-masonry, thatching and blacksmithing; as well as workshops on maintenance of older buildings and applying the conservation principles.

The programme builds on previously commissioned work and research undertaken by CITB NI, which found that Northern Ireland has an increasing number of pre-1919 buildings requiring restoration, conservation, repair and maintenance, increasing the need for traditional skills and use of traditional building materials.

For further information about the project or events contact Further details on events and to book can be found at


:: A Belfast business and mindset event is to return this month with a whole host of new speakers.

The event, supported by Gekkoshot, will take place at the Ulster Museum on September 22, and features an all-star speaker line-up including leading names in hospitality, mindset, marketing, ecommerce, data and much more.

Tickets for Momentum: A Night At The Museum on September 22 (6.30pm-late) are on sale at


Fiona Gratzer, chief executive at Unislim (and daughter of founder Agnes McCourt), announces the launch of its inaugural Inspire awards which recognise its most inspirational members, with winners to be announced during a ceremony on October 4


:: United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Jane Hartley has been named as keynote speaker for the 2023 WiB Group Chair’s lunch.

Ambassador Hartley will address over 400 business leaders and entrepreneurs at the annual event which is this year celebrating 21 years of Women in Business and its collective impact on the Northern Ireland economy and wider society.

Taking place on Friday October 13 at Titanic Belfast, the lunch is sponsored by the Department for the Economy, Allstate and Queen’s University Belfast. Table bookings and single seats are still available to book at