Removing barriers to enterprise

We’re passionate supporters of UK enterprise and offer a wide range of services to people who want to start, run and grow a business. Enterprise is the lifeblood of a thriving economy, so we’re committed to removing barriers and providing more opportunities to help companies grow. But we also know that for many, it remains harder than it should be.

On a visit to NatWest-backed London restaurant Darjeeling Express, CEO Alison Rose discussed some of the issues facing female-led businesses with owner Asma Khan and some local entrepreneurs - watch video: (This video was filmed pre-Covid-19)

How do we make a difference?

We commit to:

  • Help create 50k incremental new businesses across the UK by 2023
  • Focus much of our support on people and communities, who traditionally face the highest barriers to entry

Out of all the people we inspire and support, we aim to ensure that:

  • 75% are based in regions outside London & South East
  • 60% are female
  • 20% are BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic)
  • 10% are social purpose-led

Helping businesses respond to Covid 19 and build back better

For 2021, we will continue to help remove barriers to UK Enterprise growth through learning, networks, expertise and funding:

  • Support 35k businesses through our enterprise programmes
  • Deliver 200k customer interactions to start, run and grow a business.

Better and fairer opportunities for everyone

We’re going the extra mile to help people and that includes those who traditionally face the most obstacles to business growth. For example, we’ve already created over 600 Women in Business specialists throughout the UK. Look how we’ve:

  • Led ‘The Alison Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship’ in partnership with HM Treasury and Department for Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy & Skills. The aim was to identify the reasons behind the disparity between start up rates for male and female entrepreneurs. More about The Alison Rose Review
  • Since September 2019 we have supported more than 14,000 entrepreneurs through our Business Builder programme. More about Business Builder
  • In addition to Entrepreneur Accelerator and Business Builder, we run a series of specialist Accelerators, including our new Climate Accelerator and our Fintech Accelerator. Over 30,000 entrepreneurs have been supported through these various support programmes.
  • In January 2021, we announced an additional £1 billion in funding to help support female-led businesses in the UK recover from disruption caused by coronavirus. More about our female-led businesses.
  • Dream Bigger is our own programme aimed at inspiring young girls (aged 16 to 18) and giving them the skills and motivation to start a business. In 2020, we supported more than 15,000 young people via our live and digital events. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we adapted Dream Bigger to deliver events digitally. More about Dream Bigger
  • Supported UK enterprise with £14.1bn of lending across the three main government schemes
  • Migrated our 12 entrepreneur accelerators hubs to digital channel delivery, with a 1,150 cohort in April – that’s 46% female, 20% BAME
  • £3m from the NatWest & Princes Trust Enterprise Relief Fund - 1,261 grants were distributed to 794 young entrepreneurs enabling them to keep their businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Social &Community Capital also provided £1m in grants through its Coronavirus Relief Fund which helped social businesses employing people from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups across the UK.