Co Down Small Business Owner Wins National Young Leader Award

An independent business owner from County Down has been named as the NI Young Leader of the Year 2024 at the annual Leaders NI conference in Belfast. 

Laura King, co-founder at independent marketing agency COVE Collective in Mourne, won the award at the Riddel Hall ceremony for a programme she has created to support parents in the workplace. 

Laura, whose leadership skills also helped her secure the national award, has devised and implemented a series of initiatives that support parents at work. 

Laura has created better access to flexible work options, generous parental leave and career growth opportunities at COVE Collective. 50% of the company’s staff are either parents or expectant parents. The programmes introduced by Laura will have a direct impact on both existing and future staff members, paving the way for people to thrive, as professionals and as parents. 

Speaking after collecting her award, Laura said: “I am very proud to have created a truly parent-centric workplace – and we value what we have created; a flexible, inclusive and positive work environment for our working parents, to benefit now and in the future. I’m excited for what’s to come. It’s time for inclusive and positive change.” 

Ellie Francis, Chair of Young Leaders Committee, added: “As we celebrate the eleventh year of this award, we continue to see remarkable individuals like Laura who not only excel in their careers but also make a real impact on the business community within Northern Ireland. Every year, the entries we receive are a testament to the incredible talent and leadership we have here, and it is an honour to recognize such outstanding achievements. Laura’s steadfast commitment to create a workplace where individuals can thrive professionally while prioritising their personal, well-being and parental responsibilities, and her determination to create a culture of inclusivity, made her stand out as a worthy winner of this year’s title.”

Lisa McLaughlin is the Managing Partner, Belfast, at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, the award sponsors. She said: “We are thrilled to congratulate Laura on being named Young Leader of the Year. Her achievement is a shining example of the leadership we are proud to support through our sponsorship of the Young Leaders Conference. Laura’s determination and vision will undoubtedly inspire others as they embark on their own leadership journeys.”

In addition to winning the award, Laura will have the opportunity to further develop her leadership skills by receiving a complimentary place on the Emerging Leaders training program offered by William J Clinton Leadership Institute, Queen’s University Belfast.

COVE Collective, a strategic marketing agency based in Mourne, Co.Down has a growing team of eight and is led by Laura King, along business partners Jenna Stevenson and Ryan Ward. Cove specialises in full-service marketing services, business development and content creation for businesses across Ireland. 

Scroll to Top