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Natwest supports new businesses

INDUSTRY CHAMPIONS: From left, RBS CEO Ross McEwan, Gordon Merrylees, director of The Voice, Paulette Simpson, CEO at Entrepreneurial Spark Lucy-Rose Walker, and Alison Rose

MORE than 100 entrepreneurs attended the first Entrepreneurial Spark London Hub event in the capital, in a chance to develop their skills in the biggest ‘bootcamp’ day powered by NatWest.

Entrepreneurial Spark serves as the world’s largest business accelerator for start-ups and early stage ventures from all sectors. To date, the hub operates across 13 locations.

In all four nations of the UK, more than 2,000 businesses have been supported to start, grow and scale-up, creating more than 3,000 jobs thanks to the partnership between Entrepreneurial Spark and NatWest.

The event, which took place at the NatWest offices in Angel, north London, saw the entrepreneurs celebrate the 13th and final hub. Guest speakers including Dragon’s Den’s Jenny Camp- bell, Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship for NatWest, and Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking for NatWest, spoke to the guests, alongside a pitching competition where entrepreneurs from the hub delivered their 60-second pitch to win £1,000.

The hub is keen to encourage entrepreneurs to participate in its accelerator, after it was reported that only 17 per cent of people think now is a good time to launch businesses, hit- ting a record low, according to the NatWest Entrepreneurship Monitor.

The report, released last week, also shows the proportion of people wanting to start their own business has dropped from 39 per cent to 14 per cent since the vote to leave the EU.
Speaking at the event, Ms Rose said: “These figures are not surprising, but they are a stark reminder of the economic uncertainty and barriers that would-be entrepreneurs are facing."


Entrepreneurial Spark supports small businesses to develop their skills

“This is why it is so important that we step up to support start-ups, scale-ups and small businesses allowing them to concentrate on establishing and growing their business and creating jobs for the UK economy.”

Mr Merrylees said: “We are determined to be the leading bank for entrepreneurs by powering UK businesses to start, scale and succeed."

“Our entrepreneurship strategy is anchored to the communities within our hubs and the fantastic business success we see every day from our entrepreneurs and their businesses that are the fabric of the economic growth of tomorrow."

“The Bank is committed to the success of our customers and entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of the UK economy and are honoured to play a critical part in moving businesses from start-up to stocks market to stardom.”

Heather Melville, OBE, CCMI, director of strategic partnerships and head of business inclusion initiatives in corporate and private bank- ing at RBS, said: “London has a huge population of diverse talent and therefore home to some of the most successful entrepreneurs."

“It is great to see the mix of women and BAME entrepreneurs who have successfully applied for this programme. We are also extremely proud to have been awarded the prestigious Diverse Com- pany of the Year Award last Friday at the National Diversity Awards.”

Read about the four young entrepreneurs moving to the next level on Sunday 17 September at 9pm

The Voice is celebrating its 35th birthday this year. Share your Voice memories, comments and birthday wishes on social media, using the following hash tag: #Voice35Years

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