NatWest has unveiled its inaugural #PowerUp Index of the 100 best and brightest businesses who have successfully emerged from its 2018/2019 NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator cohort. Each of the businesses was based in one of the bank’s 12 Entrepreneur Accelerator hubs between April 2018 and March 2019.

The NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator is the bank’s comprehensive programme of fully-funded mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching, specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs who want to grow and scale their business. The entrepreneurs also benefit from the specialist expertise and support provided by the Entrepreneur Accelerator’s national partners – Dell Technologies, Propel by Deloitte, Hiscox, Equifax, FreeAgent and Pinsent Masons.

The NatWest hubs are capable of supporting up to 1,000 entrepreneurs simultaneously across the country, making them the UK’s largest fully-funded business accelerator network.

The #PowerUp Index was developed in partnership with Beauhurst and Equifax and it reflects the key aspects of NatWest’s Accelerator programme which focuses on the financial performance of these businesses as well as the key driver to what makes these businesses thrive – the entrepreneurs themselves.

Amongst the entrepreneurs included in the index is Elizabeth Tweedale who is the CEO and founder of Cypher, a company which runs holiday coding camps for 4-14 years olds with enthusiastic and trained teachers, supported by top tech experts. Commenting on her inclusion in the Index Elizabeth said:

“I’m very honoured to be included on this list alongside so many other amazing entrepreneurs. To be named in the #PowerUp Index just gives us a lot of credibility and I’m very grateful. What I really like about being part of the Entrepreneur Accelerator hub is that it’s so diverse – it’s not just a tech accelerator. Let’s say there’s a pet business that’s delivering through the mail, and you might think: ‘Well, what does that have to do with a business that’s teaching children how to code?’ The answer is nothing – but maybe we’re both looking for interns, so we might ask each other how you hire them, or what kind of interview questions to ask. Getting feedback from people who aren’t in your industry can be extremely helpful.”

Commenting on the publication of NatWest’s first #PowerUp Index NatWest Managing Director for Entrepreneurship Gordon Merrylees said:

‘Since NatWest brought the Entrepreneur Accelerator network in-house, we’ve been able to scale the programme rapidly. The 11,000 entrepreneurs we’ve supported over the past 15 months marks a 300% increase on what we were able to achieve during the previous three and a half years. This shows how much of an achievement it is for the 100 businesses that have made our inaugural #PowerUp Index. Each of these businesses and their founders have really stood out for their impressive growth mindset, job creation, business growth and consistently demonstrating the behaviours and qualities we expect of the country’s future entrepreneurial leaders. This is in turn enabling them to have a truly significant impact in their local communities, while supporting the UK economy.

‘Entrepreneurship is an area that defines NatWest. As the UK’s biggest bank for business, we understand that SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy and that we have a responsibility to help them start, scale and succeed. I look forward to continuing this work through our Accelerator hubs.’

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