Nickie Kilkenny, Business Growth Enabler at NatWest, said: “Without question, women-led businesses have a vital role in the economy both in the North East and nationally. At our Newcastle Accelerator, 53% of the businesses involved in the programmes are led by women which is fantastic to see.”
“We know that tailored support from specialists can make a great difference in overcoming the barriers outlined in the Rose Review but we also recognise we need to be pro-active in supporting female entrepreneurs.
In response to the findings of the Rose Review, NatWest has launched the new Back Her Business Crowdfunding programme. Working in partnership with Crowdfunder, the programme helps women prepare their ideas for new businesses and get them ready for a bespoke crowdfunding campaign. Businesses that meet their campaign targets will receive match funding from NatWest to support their businesses.
NatWest also runs a three-stage business Accelerator programme at 12-sites across the UK including Newcastle. Since the launch of the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, the bank has prioritised supporting female entrepreneurs and ensuring that there is a positive gender balance across all of our propositions including the hub in Newcastle.
The bank has signed the Investing In Women Code which has been backed by the Government. The code is a commitment to support female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving women’s access to the advice, resources and finance needed to build a business.
Nickie said: “Backing female entrepreneurs helps everyone. It helps women, of course, but it helps our economy, the start-up and business ecosystem, and, in the end, the wider consumer. For too long, women have been put off from starting a business by a number of factors – we want to make this a thing of the past.”