Rachel Hanna is a New Frontiers alumna and the founder of Bell Media, a media company with an ambition to foster a culture of innovation in school communities and inspire young people internationally.
Rachel brings a rich and varied background to her role as founder. She holds an Honours Degree in Communications Studies from DCU and a Digital Marketing Diploma from the Digital Marketing Institute. She has over 20 years’ experience working within the media and communications industry and has worked on numerous lifestyle events since 2010.
Bell Media Ltd was established in September 2014, and is currently focused on establishing itself as the go-to events and publishing company within the education/lifestyle sector, with plans to expand the Bell Time brand domestically and further afield.
I had the inner belief that I could run a successful company and when I saw a gap in the market for a niche lifestyle digital publishing platform and a national Expo that would appeal to school communities and educational initiatives alike, I jumped at the opportunity!
Rachel was a participant on all three phases of the New Frontiers programme, which she used – alongside other supports from business agencies – to help develop her concept. The company created Bell Time Magazine, a free nationwide print and digital interactive lifestyle magazine and website promoting positive life choices for the secondary school community.
Another initiative is School Summit – a national two-day event to be held in 2017 that will cater for all Senior Cycle students and their teachers. With over 100 exhibitors and keynote speakers, it will offer an opportunity to explore, experience, and engage with the many opportunities that are available across a number of disciplines. It will showcase many vibrant aspects that are prevalent in Irish Education today, including the arts, education opportunities, careers, TY, apprenticeships, languages, travel, competitions, sport, technology, STEM, environmental issues, arts, etc.
The company’s magazine, website, digital channels and Expo cover a wide and varied spectrum of topics that are of significant interest to teachers, students and parents alike. The magazine’s website has had over 3 million pageviews this year, and 30,000 free copies of the magazine are sent to every vocational, comprehensive, voluntary and secondary school in Ireland annually. Rachel’s favourite startup motivation quote is:
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”