This article is part of our collection on Strategy and Planning
A series of podcasts exploring how Northern Ireland’s local entrepreneurs and resilient business owners have adapted during the coronavirus crisis.
Last updated: 28 Nov 2020 2 min read
Businesses in Northern Ireland have had to think fast to tackle the new challenges and stresses that the coronavirus crisis has thrust upon them. But where there have been challenges, there have also been inspiring displays of innovation and resilience.
Hosted by broadcast journalist and former BBC Newsline anchor Sarah Travers, the Thrive In The New World business podcast aims to harness the power of peer-to-peer learning by telling the stories of forward-thinking business owners from a diverse range of industries in Northern Ireland. The focus is on helping businesses to feel inspired and to stay agile during these difficult times.
“The range of voices from different business types that you will hear from in the podcast series will equip listeners with the knowledge to help them recognise where their strengths lie,” says Mark Crimmins, managing director of corporate, commercial and business banking at Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland. “It will also offer first-hand insight into how other business owners have utilised their strengths to identify new opportunities to adapt against the backdrop of these difficult circumstances.”
So if you’re looking for inspiration, you can catch up on all the latest episodes, including our new bonus edition here, or on your favourite podcast platform.
**Special bonus episode**
In this episode host Sarah Travers is joined by Mark Crimmins, managing director of corporate, commercial and business banking at Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, to discuss some of the key themes that emerged over the course of the podcast series. We also hear from some of our previous guests about issues and opportunities that arose through the series, such as purpose, innovation, supply chain, community, imposter syndrome and the economy. Mark also shares some of his reflections on the series, as he and Sarah discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the business community in Northern Ireland today and in the future.
Episode 1: Shnuggle
In episode one Sarah is joined by Sinead Murphy, founder and CCO of Shnuggle, to learn more about how the designer and manufacturer of clever baby products has adapted and the success of the Hero Shield initiative.
Episode 2: Péarlaí
Host Sarah is joined by Peter McCaul, CEO of retail analytics company Péarlaí, which uses smart key fobs to generate footfall and build brand loyalty for shopping centres and retailers. In response to the challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis, the business recently adapted and launched Péarlaí Protect, a service to help retailers with crowd management.
Episode 3: Bob & Berts
This week, Sarah is joined by David Ferguson (far left) and Colin McClean (centre), the team behind independently owned food and coffee shop chain Bob & Berts. Discover how the brand, which opened its first branch in Portstewart in 2013, has expanded across Northern Ireland and into Scotland in recent years. Also, gain insight into how the business adapted throughout lockdown with the development of the new Bob & Berts app, and how it has prepared its cafes for reopening.
Episode 4: Minprint
Sarah is joined by Jamie McMinnis, managing director of print and display specialist Minprint. Learn how, during the coronavirus crisis, Jamie and his team developed an innovative range of social-distancing products to support primary schools to prepare to reopen safely. Branded the ‘Combat Kids’, the range has been designed to communicate the complex issues raised by Covid-19 to young children in an engaging way.
Episode 5: Agri-food special
In the penultimate episode of the series, Sarah is joined by Cormac McKervey, senior agriculture manager at Ulster Bank, and Michele Shirlow, chief executive of FoodNI, for a special edition focusing on the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland. Learn about how the farming community and local food and drinks producers have adapted and risen to the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, opportunities for growth, and the role of the sector in the green economy.
Episode 6: The economy
In the final episode, Sarah is joined by Richard Ramsey, chief economist Northern Ireland at Ulster Bank, and Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for a special edition of the podcast focusing on the economy in Northern Ireland. Learn about the key economic trends businesses should be aware of, how companies can prepare for some of the challenges ahead, and what opportunities there are for businesses in the new world in which we find ourselves.
Strategy and Planning