In my first blog I discussed my recent appointment as RBS and NatWest Head of Entrepreneurship. I promised to back the businesses of tomorrow and help ambitious entrepreneurs grow their businesses to the next level. What better way to do this than to get hands on with the businesses in question?
Our new business accelerator hubs, developed in partnership with social enterprise Entrepreneurial Spark, are doing just that. We’re creating physical workspaces for budding businesses within RBS and NatWest buildings.
The hubs will be springboards for success, giving start-ups (whether they be customers of the bank or not) access to office space, resources, expertise, knowledge and support from RBS and Entrepreneurial Spark staff – all free of charge. I’ve been closely involved with the initiative in Scotland and am so excited to see this extending now to the rest of the UK.
By opening up our premises we’re doing exactly what we’ve promised; backing the businesses of tomorrow. Entrepreneurs need more than just cash. They need help and advice, office space, introductions and access to networks, as well as mentoring – all of which we can offer through the tremendous reach of RBS & NatWest.
The concept has already made a huge difference to start-ups in Scotland, helping hundreds of small businesses reach their potential and see start up survival rates of 83.4% in the past 3 years of our partnership together. Building on that success, eight new accelerator hubs are now being launched in major cities across the rest of the UK. 300 applications later, we kicked off on Monday with the first accelerator in Birmingham, hosting 80 entrepreneurs.
It was a fantastic event with Ross McEwan, supported by his entire executive board, officially launching the workspace. It illustrated just how much the whole bank is behind our bid to support and cultivate entrepreneurial talent and help small businesses achieve their ambitions. Watch this space as further hubs will follow in Leeds, Bristol, Belfast, Manchester and Cardiff.
We want to become the “go-to” bank for entrepreneurs. Launching our entrepreneurial accelerator hubs brings us one step closer to achieving that.