It seems like everyday there is another headline about how hard it is to be a woman in business. From juggling working life with family life, to ensuring you are making the most out of every business opportunity you are given, it can be a real struggle to make a success of things. Last year’s Rose Review, which was published by the Government and NatWest, revealed that advancing female entrepreneurship represents about a £250 billion opportunity for the UK economy. NatWest Business Growth Enabler, Rachel Middleton, explains what the bank is doing to support women in business in Yorkshire.
The findings of the Rose Review revealed just how valuable female entrepreneurs are to the UK economy. However, it also unearthed the fact that only 5.6% of women run their own business. Further bank data also shows that women are half as likely as men to start a business. The reason for this figure is not a lack of aspiration, but a worrying trend amongst would-be female entrepreneurs. We were told that they felt there was a lack of appropriate finance, mentoring, role models, local support and tailored advice.
So what is Natwest doing about this?
To combat this, Natwest launched Back Her Business. This aims to support female entrepreneurs by helping and encouraging more women to start and fund their own businesses in the early stages. The programme has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder and forms part of NatWest’s wider commitment to reduce the gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship. It aims to support the creation of a further 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025. The next local event in partnership with Crowdfunder is running on Tuesday, 28th January. More information and registration is available here; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-her-business-leeds-turning-ideas-into-businesses-tickets-86304397777
There is also a programme for women who have already launched their businesses, and are looking to grow and scale. NatWest has a three-stage Accelerator programme based in Leeds to support them on their business journeys. Fully funded by NatWest, the programme is open to entrepreneurs of any age and at any stage of their business. This includes larger companies with higher turnovers. The accelerator provides successful applicants with coaching and support and office facilities. You can find out more information on the website here; https://www.business.natwest.com/business/business-banking/services/entrepreneur-accelerator.html
With over 500 Women in Business Specialists throughout the UK, NatWest is ready to deliver on our expertise and offer tangible support to you and your business. Whether you already run a business or plan to, we can help with your everyday business needs.
She Business runs events throughout the year for women in business in Yorkshire. You can find details here https://www.shebusiness.co.uk/upcoming-events/or get in touch; firstname.lastname@example.org.