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22.11.2018

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    The NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator

    NatWest

    The NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator gives entrepreneurs the power to start, scale and succeed. We provide entrepreneurs with unique coaching, environment and network focusing on the key driver to success - the entrepreneur - we offer insight, support and challenge to help scale their businesses faster.

    What objectives did you set out to achieve?

    Our number one goal is to be the leading bank for entrepreneurs and the bank has created five objectives in order for us to do this:

    1. Create and deliver a market leading, industry entrepreneurship proposition for our customers

    2. Build capability, improve confidence and engagement across colleagues and leaders

    3. Recognised as subject matter, industry experts and thought leaders in entrepreneurship

    4. Participate and actively contribute to the bank’s innovation objectives to improve organisational efficiency and customer service delivery

    5. Demonstrate commercial success of the entrepreneurship initiative through delivery of sustainable growth and collaboration

    What was your single biggest challenge in achieving them?

    Our historical reputation and making sure that our customers are at the forefront of everything we do.

    Previously, banks have been focused on returns in terms of tangible income and assets. However, banks are starting to take a new approach to returns and are looking to achieve more beneficial outcomes for our economy and for all of our stakeholders. NatWest are proud to be standing at the forefront of this market change and offer our services for free because we understand that returns aren’t always tangible or necessarily short term. We’re taking a long term, sustainable approach to banking.

    What did you do differently to overcome that challenge?

    NatWest partnered with Entrepreneurial Spark to open hubs to support and connect start-ups and high-growth businesses across England. This was a space we were not traditionally know in and we wanted to help disrupt the market for start-up support.

    Over the period of the partnership the bank delivered and reiterated the proposition and we now have a proposition that is primarily focused on delivering a great service through our hubs. In March we agreed with Entrepreneurial Spark that the UK network of 12 entrepreneur support hubs will be 100% managed and run by the bank.

    What were your most impactful outcomes?

    Key impacts to note are:

    • The partnership has supported entrepreneurs to create c. 8,096 jobs for the UK economy and they have raised over £255mof investment.
    • We have supported over 3,868entrepreneurs and have a business survival rate of 87%with an accumulated £651 million in turnover.
    • This proposition has had a huge impact on our business as part of this initiative we seen the real benefits first hand of having an entrepreneurial mindset
    • We launched the entrepreneur development academy for our internal colleagues - we are all playing our part in building tomorrow’s capability.

    In a sentence, what was the biggest learning you took away from this?

    We built, learned and initiated this proposition on an agile basis – we started off as a small team and took on the skills that we teach our entrepreneurs by trying things at pace and understanding when to pivot our ideas or when to cease ideas entirely and when they worked we invested and grew.

    What will you do next?

    We are constantly improving our proposition, we have recently brought on partners that will provide a money can’t buy experience for our entrepreneurs and this will offer so much to the entrepreneurs in terms of connectivity, knowledge and expertise.

    Read more about the the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator here.

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