Ulster Bank brings pitching competition to International Disability Summit

Posted By: Ulster Bank

5th May 2022

Ulster Bank is encouraging entrepreneurs to enter the elevator pitch competition at the Harkin International Disability Employment Summit which comes to Belfast later this year (7-8 June 2022).

Four entrepreneurs will be shortlisted to present a business pitch infront the delegates which will include employers, leaders and activists from all over the world. Each presentation will be judged by a panel of experts with an overall winner receiving a cash prize package, courtesy of Ulster Bank.

Harkin Belfast 2022 will provide a platform for individuals and organisations to challenge for change and come together to share ideas on how best employers can provide support for those with disabilities and enable them to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Established in 2016 by US Senator, Tom Harkin, the Harkin Summit has gained international recognition for its ability to bring together business leaders, governments, philanthropists, and academics to highlight and address disability employment issues.

Given the remit of the conference, anyone living with a disability will be eligible to take part in the pitch competition which will focus on bringing traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs into the spotlight.

Entrepreneurs are invited to submit their initial one-minute video pitch via WhatsApp to 07841100025 by 5pm on Friday 20th May 2022. Entrants are encouraged to make full use of the 60 seconds and use the time to tell the story of their product or service and explain how winning this prize money would boost their business.

The Ulster Bank Accelerator team and members of the judging panel will then shortlist four finalists who will have their one-minute video pitch played out during the Summit before a winner is selected.

John Ferris, Regional Eco System Manager with Ulster Bank, explains why Ulster Bank is partnering with the event.

“Harkin Belfast ’22 promises to be a dynamic and exciting event that offers a huge amount of engagement and collaboration with stakeholders and activists from all over the world. At Ulster Bank, we are working hard to level the playing field for traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs, including those with disabilities, and want to do more to recognise the valuable contribution these businesses leaders bring to our local economy and to workplaces across Northern Ireland.

“I am hopeful that we will have a strong response to our pitching competition and look forward to receiving entries from what we know to be a lively and inspirational group of entrepreneurs who have been overlooked for too long. We have no doubt the Harkin Summit will spark valuable conversations and create positive connections which will have a long-lasting impact on our approach to these important issues.”

Also supporting the pitch competition is local social enterprise group, USEL. CEO Bill Atkinson said:

“As Northern Ireland’s Largest Supporter of People living with a disability into Employment, we are delighted to be supporting the Dragons’ Den Style Pitch at Harkin Belfast 2022. Our organisation not only supports people living with a disability into paid employment but also encourages people we support, to develop their entrepreneurial skills to explore self-employment opportunities.

“It’s great to see Ulster Bank supporting this initiative and we look forward to meeting the entrants.”

To find out more about Harkin Belfast ’22 including details on how to attend, and the full programme of events visit Harkin Belfast ’22 .

For more information about the work of the Ulster Bank Accelerator Programme and how it can help you to start or scale a business go to www.ulsterbank.co.uk/accelerator .