Professor MN Ravishankar
Dean & Head of School, Queen’s Business School
Welcome & Introduction
1.00pm, Wednesday 4th September

M.N. Ravishankar is Professor of Technology & Globalisation, and Dean of Queen’s Business School. Previously, he was Professor of Technology & Globalisation at the School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University. During his stint at Loughborough University (2006-2022), Ravi contributed in multiple leadership roles including Associate Dean (Research) and Director of Internationalisation. Ravi serves on the editorial board of five scholarly journals and he has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 global scholar based on research publications in the Association for Information Systems’ basket of world-leading scholarly journals. His external research engagements (2004 – present) span strategic coordination of technology sourcing, management of digital social innovations, and social entrepreneurship. Ravi’s teaching has been well-received by all student groups, and he has designed and delivered undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA, doctoral, and executive education courses on the strategic management of multinational enterprises, strategies for emerging markets, technology management, management information systems, global sourcing, and fintech innovations.

Professor Colette Henry, PhD
1.20pm, Wednesday 4th September

Professor Colette Henry, PhD, is Head of Department of Business Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), and Adjunct Professor (Business Strategy & Innovation) at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. She is also an Affiliated Researcher with Jönköping University, Sweden. Her previous roles include Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway; Norbrook Professor of Business & Enterprise at the Royal Veterinary College, London, and President of the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, UK.

She is the Founding Chair of the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research Network (Global WEP) and Founding Editor (and former Editor in Chief) of the International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship.

She has extensive experience of designing and managing international education and training programmes focusing on entrepreneurship, and currently leads a series of EU-funded entrepreneurship programmes for DkIT. She has published widely on entrepreneurship education, gender, the creative industries, and veterinary/rural business, with over 7,000 citations to her work.

In 2015 she received the Diana International Research Project Trailblazer Award, and in 2017 received the Sten K Johnson European Entrepreneurship Education Award from Lund University, Sweden. Colette is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Higher Education Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship. She has led a series of GWEP publications including, with the OECD, “Entrepreneurship Policies Through a Gender Lens” (OECD, 2021).

Her current interests have taken her into the world of creative writing. One of her short crime stories, Betrayal, was recently broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds.

Andrew Trimble
Welcome Reception Guest Speaker
7pm, Wednesday 4th September

Andrew Trimble is a former rugby player and entrepreneur. He made his debut for Ulster Rugby in 2005, earning 229 caps in a 13-year career. Internationally, he represented Ireland with 70 caps between 2005 and 2017.

After retiring from rugby in 2018, Trimble co-founded Kairos, a software company optimizing performance and communication for elite sports teams. Kairos began working with high profile football teams in the Premier League as well as Major sports franchises in MLB and the NBA. Kairos was acquired by Teamworks Innovations, a North Carolina company in December 2023 and Andrew now serves as a senior director of product with the company.

Maura is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black blouse with pink stripes, and has long brown hair.Professor Maura McAdam FRSA
10am, Thursday 5th September

Maura McAdam is Professor of Management & Director of Entrepreneurship at DCU Dublin.

Internationally renowned, Prof Maura McAdam is a trailblazer in the field of entrepreneurship, having dedicated over two decades to exploring the intricate interplay of gender and diversity in shaping entrepreneurial behaviour. An extensive background in industry prior to entering academia has augmented her capacity to navigate complex professional landscapes. Simultaneously, her diverse teaching engagements spanning nearly 25 years which includes more recently in Saudi Arabia, have equipped her with a nuanced understanding of interdisciplinary pedagogical approaches. Her use of innovative teaching practices have been recognised in her receipt of a Queen’s Teaching Award (2006), DCU President’s Teaching Award (2018) and President’s Teaching Award Nomination (2023). Furthermore, in 2019, she won an Irish Women’s Award for her Services to Education.

Her illustrious career is marked by the adept leadership and construction of international research teams, fostering successful engagements within both regional and global entrepreneurial ecosystems. With established research networks spanning the UK, Ireland, EU, New Zealand, the US, and the Middle East, she has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing the discourse on women’s entrepreneurship. Prof Maura McAdam has made serious and lasting theoretical and methodological contributions to the area of entrepreneurship, with her research published in FT Top 50 US journals and other top-rated US and UK journals across a range of theoretical disciplines. Ranked amongst the top 2% of scientists in the world for research for the last three consecutive years, she continues to shape the trajectory of scholarly conversations in the field of entrepreneurship. She has received several research awards for her work including most recently the 2023 DCU President’s Award for Research, underscoring her unwavering dedication to advancing the frontiers of knowledge in women’s entrepreneurship.


Spinder is wearing a white dress and laughing.Dr Spinder Dhaliwal
1.35pm, Thursday 5th September

Dr Spinder Dhaliwal is a Reader in Entrepreneurship at Westminster University Business School where she leads the Entrepreneurship Research Group. 

Spinder has written extensively about entrepreneurship and the business community and her latest book which she edited, Cases on Entrepreneurship and Diversity (Edward Elgar Publishing) has just been released. She is the author of The Millennial Millionaire, how young entrepreneurs turn their dreams into business (Palgrave). She compiled Britain’s Richest Asians reflecting her long held interest in the field. Her previous book, Making a Fortune – Learning from the Asian Phenomenon (Capstone) has been noted widely. Her study ‘Silent Contributors – Asian Female Entrepreneurs and Women in Business’ highlights the neglected issue of the contribution of Asian women to both entrepreneurship and the management of family businesses.  

Spinder has developed what the Daily Mail described as a “high flying career” which spans academia, writing and the media. Spinder has lead Entrepreneurship programmes both in the UK and overseas. She has run workshops in Barbados, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Athens and China.

Avoiding the insularity of many in her profession, Spinder’s work targets, and hits, a much wider audience than just students and other academics. She has been a regular contributor to the media and, in the past few years, has become an increasingly influential figure in more mainstream circles. Spinder, and her work, have been profiled in The Independent, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail and she has appeared on the BBC’s flagship breakfast news programme. 

Spinder is invited to address audiences as a speaker and is a freelance writer. 

Steve Lazars
11am, Friday 6th September

Steve Lazars, a distinguished enterprise educator, business mentor, and policy advisor. With a career spanning 25 years and nine countries, Steve brings a wealth of experience from the civil, corporate, charity, community, and sports sectors. Over the past decade, he has mentored nearly 250 businesses of all sizes, showcasing his deep understanding of the socio-cultural dynamics that shape entrepreneurship ecosystems worldwide.

Steve is the visionary founder of EMEEN (Ethnic Minority Employment and Entrepreneurship Network), a national network that reaches 15,000 ethnic minority professionals across Northern Ireland, representing 52 nationalities. Currently, Steve supports the delivery of Go Succeed, driving a nationwide ethnic minority entrepreneurship strategy through pioneering workshops and mentoring programs for entrepreneurs across the country. Over the past decade, he has mentored nearly 250 businesses of all sizes, showcasing his deep understanding of the socio-cultural dynamics that shape entrepreneurship ecosystems worldwide.

Through the Go Succeed initiative, he has delivered a national entrepreneurship program across all 11 councils in Northern Ireland, collaborating with universities, regional colleges, DfE, DfC, Invest NI, financial institutions, and regional business support agencies.

In addition to his work with EMEEN, Steve founded Investors in Ethnicity, the Ethnic Minority Business Network, and the Ethnic Minority Tech Network. As a national advisor on ethnic minority entrepreneurship policy, he co-authored the first historic position paper on NI ethnic minority and migrant entrepreneurship and hosted the inaugural ethnic minority entrepreneurship summit in Northern Ireland.

His vision is to see ethnic minorities be a part of the economic journey and development of this beautiful country. Steve’s work has been instrumental in fostering socio-economic impact and entrepreneurial success.

Professor Archie Clements
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise, Queen’s University Belfast
Closing Session
12.40pm, Friday 6th September

Professor Clements joined Queen’s University Belfast in December 2023 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Research and Enterprise. As PVC, he is a member of the University Management Board, and is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the University’s research strategy. He chairs the University Research and Innovation Committee and other decision-making bodies involved in research and enterprise. Professor Clements is also the academic lead for implementation of the Belfast Region City Deal. Prior to joining Queen’s University Belfast, he held leadership roles at University of Plymouth, Curtin University in Western Australia and the Australian National University. Professor Clements is an infectious disease epidemiologist and has studied the spatial epidemiology of parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases, predominantly in tropical regions of the world. He has also worked on community-based intervention studies exploring the role of multi-component, integrated strategies for sustainable infectious disease control. As of December 2023, he has co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and been a chief investigator on competitively awarded research grants valued at over £18M.