A Programme to empower your business

The SMEs of Southeast Wales are critical to realising the growth and ambition of our region. The Unleash programme of thought-leading conversations and practical workshops will empower your business to be the best it can be – through a wide range of expert insights and workshops, all focused on helping you succeed.

There is no charge for delegates to attend our Unleash 2023 conference. Breakfast, lunch and teas and coffees will be provided and there will be a post drinks and networking session afterwards, sponsored by Geldards Solicitors.

Please note that there is an onsite parking charge levied by the ICC Wales of £6.00 for the day, payable by delegates.

Credit: ICC Wales

Wednesday, 26th April 2023 at ICC Wales

In addition to the cutting-edge talks on the main stage all delegates can choose a breakout session in the morning and the afternoon from industry leaders.  Please choose your two breakout sessions during the registration process.

We will be adding more great speakers to our Unleash 2023 conference so timings may change a little

Our programme includes the following:

Main Stage

Opening address

Kellie Beirne, Director, Cardiff Capital Region

Unleashing Tech

Stephen Kelly, Chair, Tech Nation

Dr Wil Williams, CEO Alacrity Foundation and Giorgia Tomasello, Chief Product Officer, Trovalo

Unleashing Innovation

Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice Principal, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Damon Rands, CEO, PureCyber

Unleashing Talent

Eleri Gibbon, Director, Services Partners UK

Unleashing Ambition

Eamon Tuhami, CEO, Hwyl Ventures

Hugo and Fiona Spowers, CEO and Communications Director, Riversimple Movement

Unleashing Growth

Rhian Elston, Wales Investment Director, Development Bank of Wales

Noel Mooney, CEO, Football Association of Wales

Closing address

Nigel Griffiths, Chair, CCR’s Regional Business Council

Breakout Sessions

Delegates to choose one session between 1 to 6 before lunch and one session between 4 to 6 after lunch

1. Cyber security across CCR

Dr Yulia Cherdantseva and Sharan Johnstone, Cyber Innovation Hub

Join the Cyber Innovation Hub’s forensic cyber experts Yulia and Sharan on a session aimed at upskilling the workforces of growing and ambitious SMEs and organisations across a wide range of Cyber-related areas. This will start at Cyber Awareness / Hygiene and will go on to the more specific cross area subjects such as CNI, Cyber in Engineering and Manufacturing etc. The second strand is particularly appropriate for those who may want to upskill for career development, something that both Yulia and Sharan are highly experienced in.

2. FinTech in CCR

Sarah Williams-Gardener, CEO, FinTech Wales

Join FinTech Wales’ CEO, Sarah Williams Gardener, and our expert panel of Welsh FinTechs to see what services and solutions they have to offer SMEs. From payment platforms, identity verification, accountancy support, digital transformation services, effective customer onboarding processes to private market platform for raising investment and so much more, Wales has a wealth of organisations to support SMEs to continue to thrive. So why do companies continue to look past Wales for solutions that can be delivered right here on our doorstep? Find out what born and bred Welsh FinTech Solutions are available to you.

3. The role of creatives in the CCR economy

Professor Sara Pepper OBE, Co-Director of the Creative Economy Unit at Cardiff University

Creatives mean business.

In the last decade, the UK’s creative economy has grown and developed at pace and accounts for more than 2.5 million jobs. According to our latest estimates (with data to 2021), the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) hosts 8000 creative businesses, generating 2.2 billion pounds in turnover and engaging 46,000 employees and freelancers. But the impact of the creative sector extends way beyond this, spilling over and adding value across the Welsh economy, and beyond.

Join Professor Sara Pepper’s session to find out why the creative industries matter.

4. How SMEs can access CCR’s funds (in conjunction with PwC)

Rhys Thomas, COO and Nicola Somerville, Head of Business Development and Inclusive Growth, Cardiff Capital Region

Attending this session gives Unleash delegates the opportunity to learn about the funds and capital that CCR-based businesses can apply for. Join Rhys Thomas and Nic Somerville as they explain how the £50m Strategic Sites & Premises Fund works. They will be accompanied in this talk by PwC who will lead on the £50m Innovation & Investment Capital.

5. Making connections overseas

Zara May, Head of Community, GlobalWelsh

There are more than 3 million people with a connection to Wales scattered around the world – the Welsh diaspora. Some of Wales’ diaspora are leading some of the world’s biggest and most successful businesses – ProDrive, Rolls-Royce, Halma to name just a few. GlobalWelsh is on a mission to bring together Welsh people and businesses globally. To build a unique network of warm connections and facilitate the creation of new opportunities. The diaspora is a huge source of knowledge, investment, connection and opportunity for Wales. By bringing them ‘home’, GlobalWelsh is enabling Wales and Welsh people to prosper in a new way.

This session will explore the opportunities on offer and how they can benefit you, your business, your region and… your country.

6. Unleashing skills into the workplace

Jess Lancashire, Founder, From Another

If you’re looking to raise financing or investment over the next 24-36 months, join us to understand how employee engagement and tenure will impact your firm’s valuation and what you can put in place to tackle the four paradoxes of flexible working. We will explore the initial findings from the South Wales Listening Programme; sharing insights from managers and leaders across the region about how to tip the balance in favour of positive outcomes from flexible working. Make sure you’re putting in place the things your workforce want and need and build compelling evidence about your most valuable asset – your people. From Another, the working parenthood people enable you to support everyone in your organisation – whatever they do, wherever they live, whoever they are. To find out more, watch this 2 minute video

Thank you to all our supporters

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