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Business Leaders to Shape up at IoD Boot Camp

04 August 2014

Business Leaders to Shape up at IoD Boot Camp

The Institute of Directors (NI) and Northern Ireland Science Park are calling for new executive and non-executive directors  to sign up to the inaugural Directors’ Boot Camp, sponsored by leading Northern Ireland law firm, Arthur Cox.

By addressing key issues such as legal compliance, effective governance and the responsibilities surrounding company directorship, the Directors’ Boot Camp is the perfect opportunity for new directors to climb the ranks by broadening their knowledge and understanding of how to be an exemplary leader.

According to the Insolvency Service, more than 100 directors from Northern Ireland were disqualified in the last year alone. Coupled with the fact that Northern Ireland has also seen the sharpest rise in self-employment figures compared to the rest of the UK and the Republic, now is the time to refine the skillset of future generations of entrepreneurs.

In a bid to prevent disqualifications, the Boot Camp will comprise of a series of informal master classes with some of Northern Ireland’s most influential business leaders from the private, public and social enterprise sectors.

Linda Brown, Director of IoD Northern Ireland said:

“The challenges which face business directors today are constantly changing and evolving, particularly with the rapidly expanding digital age we now live and work in.

“Directors need to be on top of their game when it comes to understanding and complying with the extensive business legislation, which to many new starts, may be daunting at first.

“In response to this, we have teamed up with the Northern Ireland Science Park to run the Directors’ Boot Camp, kindly sponsored by Arthur Cox Solicitors, to demystify the rules surrounding responsible company directorship and help guide new directors on how to be the best they can be.

“In addition to our Boot Camp, we strongly encourage both executive and non-executive directors to sign up to our Chartered Director Programme to further strengthen their understanding of company finance, strategy, governance and boost their professional status.”

The distinguished speakers will draw from their own personal experiences and give a detailed account of the various challenges they have faced in business and offer their insight into how to resolve common issues.

Speakers on the day include Lynsey Mallon, Partner at Arthur Cox and a leading commercial lawyer; IoD Director of the Year Finalists, Michelle Hatfield of George Best Belfast City Airport and Mark Hutchinson of SJC Hutchinson Engineering; corporate governance expert Eileen Mullan of Strictly Boardroom; and Chartered Director Sharon O’Connor, Chief Executive of Derry City Council.

The IoD New Directors Boot Camp will be held on 23 September in the epicentre of local tech-start-ups, the Northern Ireland Science Park.

Programme Manager of Northern Ireland Science Park, Claire Burgoyne said:

“We are delighted to team up with the IoD to help local business leaders learn the ropes of responsible leadership.

“Northern Ireland’s booming tech and creative industries are increasingly being recognised by corporate giants from across the globe for their unrivalled innovation and excellence.

“To maintain these high standards, it is important to nourish the professional development of those who are at the helm of start-up businesses and who want to lead by example.

“The Directors’ Boot Camp is a fantastic resource for new executive or non-executive directors to gain invaluable insight into the ins and outs of managing a business successfully and lawfully, from some of our most highly acclaimed leaders.

“I encourage any director to grab this opportunity with both hands as a means of stepping their business in the right direction.”

Lynsey Mallon, Partner at Arthur Cox said:

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Directors’ Boot Camp, which I hope is the first of many.

“The legal framework around company directorship is an important consideration for any early-stage organisation. It is sometimes perceived as restrictive, but proper governance and control can set down a very useful, commercially-focussed roadmap to help businesses grow and thrive. Gaining exposure to key issues, delegates will improve their leadership by applying what they’ve learnt to daily business practices.”

Places are already going fast for this free event, which begins at 10:00am on Tuesday 23 September in the Northern Ireland Science Park, Belfast, so to enquire about availability or to register for the next Boot Camp, please contact the IoD on 028 9068 3224 or email

For more information about IoD membership or events, follow @IoDNI on Twitter.

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