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NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator [2021]


Impact for scaleups


Scaling businesses (1,646 overall)


Investment raised in 12 months since September 2020


Female entrepreneurs


BAME entrepreneurs


Jobs created

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

NatWest delivers this programme in 12 accelerator hubs in normal times but during the pandemic pivoted to a fully digital offering. In the past year the accelerator has been reopening its physical hubs with a major focus on collaboration and relaunched its Enterprise Programme with a greater focus on scaleups and further embedded a regional delivery model designed to reach more businesses and be flexible to local needs. 

Following a review of the Accelerator by its UK-wide SME Taskforce, NatWest has created new local partnerships and regional taskforces to drive change and introduced peer-to-peer coaching. 

Entrepreneurs are offered networking events, digital workshops and 1-to-1 and 1-to-many coaching sessions to help them to grow their business. During 2021 workshop activity has included a focus on strategic visioning, accessing new markets, impactful leadership and cultivating an effective team. NatWest has committed at least 25% of space on the programme to climate-focused businesses whose main objective relates to environmentally-sustainable practices. 

New Local Enterprise Managers, Regional Ecosystem Managers and Entrepreneur Acceleration Managers will give businesses the guidance they need through expertise, coaching and networks that are relevant to their location and sector.

In June four new specialist accelerators were launched – high growth, fintech, purpose-led and climate – and further accelerators catering to specific regional and sector needs are in the development stage – family business; clean transport; circular economy; and Welsh food and drink. 

The Expert-in-Residence programme has also been launched following the Rose Review and a successful pilot in the Solent and South East LEPs. Under the scheme 28 experts based in branches or growth hubs help female entrepreneurs realise their growth ambitions by providing guidance and insight on business finance.  

NatWest has committed to supporting 35,000 entrepreneurs through its Enterprise programmes in 2021, and a further 200,000 interventions with future entrepreneurs through mentoring, webinars and coaching. To date, the bank’s initiatives have created more than 1,383 jobs in the last 12 months and contributed more than £103million to the UK economy – with nearly half of all businesses supported since launch female led.

NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator [2021] website