Belfast Talks Business with Ulster Bank and Belfast Chamber

Ulster Bank and Belfast Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to present the second event in the Belfast Talks Business Series.

Taking place on Thursday, June 17, the theme for the virtual event is ‘Innovation City’ and will be an opportunity for local business owners and other stakeholders to hear from a number of experts who are currently leading the way in this field and learn more about how the city is supporting entrepreneurship.

Ulster Bank
Pictured L-R is, Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive, Belfast Chamber of Commerce; Stephen McPeake, CEO Civic Dollars; Dr. Jayne Brady, Belfast City Council’s Digital Innovation Commissioner; and John Ferris, Regional Ecosystem Manager, Ulster Bank

Dr Jayne Brady, Belfast City Council’s Digital Innovation Commissioner has been confirmed to speak at the event and will deliver a short presentation on the importance of digital innovation in a post-Covid world. As part of this, Dr Brady will explore the many ways in which digital innovation has the potential to transform the economy and contribute to the city’s recovery, as well as sharing her experiences and learnings from the UK Government’s Innovation Expert Group, which she was recently appointed to.

Also confirmed to speak at the event is Stephen McPeake, CEO of Civic Dollars and current member of the Ulster Bank Accelerator Programme. Having worked in the technology for over 20 years, Stephen began investigating smart city technologies and has gone on to develop the Civic Dollars platform, which rewards citizens for the time they spend in parks or open spaces. Stephen will discuss how he has worked with Belfast City Council to create a tech-based solution to help the council better manage its parks and open spaces.

Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber, said he was looking forward to hearing from business leaders and entrepreneurs who are working hard to make Belfast known as a city of innovation.

“Belfast Chamber is delighted to partner with Ulster Bank once again to deliver our next ‘Belfast Talks Business’ event and looking forward to hearing Dr Jayne Brady and some local entrepreneurs discuss the issue of innovation.

“This is an issue which directly affects the city’s economy and one which is very high on our own agenda and so, together with Ulster Bank, we welcome the opportunity to learn from the expertise of our Digital Innovation Commissioner and explore ways we can work together to create a more opportune landscape for the city’s entrepreneurs, who are driving Belfast’s economic recovery.

Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber

John Ferris, Regional Ecosystem Manager with Ulster Bank, is hopeful that the event will reinforce the importance of developing entrepreneurship and strengthen the relationship between Ulster Bank and Belfast Chamber.

“Since launching our Entrepreneur Accelerator programme in 2016, Ulster Bank has made a significant contribution to Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We have accepted 600 businesses through our doors, who have gone on to secure over £20m worth of investment and are currently preparing to welcome our next cohort of entrepreneurs in the autumn.

“Key to the success and continuation of our programme has been the relationships we have fostered and support we have received from business leaders and industry groups across the city, such as Belfast Chamber, and by working together, we are making strides to help Belfast realise its ambition to become a world leader when it comes to digital technology.

“The ‘Belfast Talks Business’ series is just one example of how we are engaging with local business owners and key stakeholders to find new ways to support our city and I am excited to hear the ideas that our speakers put forward. I’d like to thank Belfast Chamber for inviting Ulster Bank to be a part of such an important initiative and excited to deliver the rest of the series.”

While this session will take place virtually it is hoped as Covid restrictions ease that some of the later events can take place on a face-to-face basis. Other event themes in the series will include Belfast’s Industrial Giants, FinTech and Cyber Security, and Green Growth.

You can register to join the event at 10am on Thursday 17 June by visiting the Belfast Chamber website at


Leanne is the editor in chief of BELFAST.CO.UK.