NatWest aims to make 2022 a record-breaking year for Midlands entrepreneurs – Business Live

Banking-giant NatWest has pledged to help make 2022 a record-breaking year for the region’s entrepreneurs.

The bank has extended and diversified its Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, meaning it has even more free support and opportunities available to help businesses scale and grow.

NatWest now has four different tailored programmes for ambitious Midlands entrepreneurs, including:

  • The purpose-led accelerator which is aimed at entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to be a business and supporting a more inclusive and sustainable economy;
  • The climate accelerator for businesses looking to take on the challenges faced by climate change and who are focused on sustainable success;
  • The high growth accelerator is open to ambitious businesses looking to grow and scale;
  • While the fintech accelerator is designed to enable the future of financial tech businesses through access to expert sector professionals.

Each programme will provide access to mentors, one-to-one coaching, thought and leadership events and access to a network of like-minded peers as well as the free use of NatWest’s co-working offices in Birmingham.

NatWest will also be opening a new hub at the University of Warwick in January with places available for some of the university’s entrepreneurial students.

There are 160 places available for January’s start date, and applications for each of the free programmes are now open.

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Debbie Lewis, regional ecosystem manager at NatWest in the Midlands, said: “The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers entrepreneurs and business owners to scale their business to the next level.

“The bank provides wrap around support and access to expertise, removing barriers and providing more opportunities to help businesses grow.

“We focus on the key driver of any business – the entrepreneur – and that is what makes these programmes so unique. With the right level of support and challenge, we can help entrepreneurs to take their business much further and faster, which is what makes 2022 such an exciting year for the Midlands’ entrepreneurs.”

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Simon Washbrook, founder and managing director of Edgbaston-based management platform popcorn, is part of NatWest’s high growth accelerator.

He said: “The sense of community and wider entrepreneur network is the secret to the programme’s success.

“It’s full of like-minded business owners who are there because they want to help grow and support each other, through the good and the bad. With shared creativity and problem solving, we bounce ideas past each other, benefitting from each other’s experiences and perspectives.

“It’s that sense of community that I really value and both myself and popcorn have grown, in ways I wouldn’t have expected.”


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