Six months FREE business support.

We recently talked to the Regional Enterprise Director at NatWest, James Powell.

The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers UK entrepreneurs and business owners to scale their
businesses to the next level.

The University of Warwick are proud to be working with NatWest to help businesses start and grow. We support the programme of activity in our hotdesking and event spaces in the heart of the University. We provide access to space, facilities, experts and advisors to complement and augment the fantastic NatWest delivery.

You can watch below, or read the interview also.

Read the interview with Regional Enterprise Director at NatWest, James Powell:

So the accelerator program is designed to support entrepreneurs start or scale their business venture. It was designed to focus on them, the individual, it’s about their development, the leaders development in their organisation – We do this by wrapping around four different types of support.

The first being coaching – So they get assigned on a one-to-one basis with a coach, we call them acceleration managers at NatWest. The entrepreneur will then chat through what is their strategy, what are the current challenges they’re facing, they’ll also be looking to see themselves some accountability goals as well, which the acceleration manager will hold them to.

The next one that we offer them is great shared working space, like we have here at the University of Warwick – So it’s a hotdesking environment, so people can come, they can bring their co-founders, they can have meetings, set up in the space as well, but they will sit shoulder to shoulder with other entrepreneurial leaders, we get that good melting pot of different experiences that you can share and collaborate with one another. Some great moments happen at the water cooler conversation as well. There’s 14 locations now across the UK, fortunately we have one here on the University of Warwick campus as well.

We also have access to expertise – So mentors, they can be everything from self-made millionaires who want to give back to the start-up community. We’ve got individuals from large corporates who want to provide help and support, as well we can link or match you to a mentor who can provide you with help and advice, including our partners.

And the final one is that access to a community, and access to our supply chain services – So you get access to, like I mentioned before, access to all of those community of like-minded entrepreneurs, we try our best to connect them through the innovation hubs, or through the accelerators, and also access to our supply chain services where possible. So if we think it’s something that is an innovative product that the bank could incorporate into its products or services, then we scout it, investigate it, see if it’s possible, or we can help them on the right track, if you are going to sell to a large corporate, this is what you need to have in place beforehand. So it gives that expertise as well as the opportunity.

The journey can be lonely, you have the ups, you have the downs, there’s loads of people there to celebrate the successes with you, jump on the coattails and run with you, as well, but when it’s challenging, you need that help and support around you, having that coach, somebody on the phone who can listen to you, who will actively listen as well. But also help you build a plan together, what’s the way forward, having mentors you can reach out to, industry experts, having like-minded entrepreneurs who’ve been there, seen it, done it.

Miss Macaroon, personally I supported and coached Rosie Ginday, she’s recently appeared on our ITV adverts for NatWest and what her business does to help disadvantage youths across Birmingham, I think is phenomenal.

There’s another one, Friction Free Shaving – this was a guy who came into our accelerator hub with a beard oil business and left with a lady shaving subscription business, so talk about pivot, we saw him go through some massive personal development changes, he managed to secure lots of investment.

But just as much as we see the successes coming through I think giving our people the opportunities to give it a go, I think is our success as well. I’ve seen a number of businesses who haven’t quite made it, but what they’ve done is they’ve managed to explore their dreams and their opportunities, and some have gone on to have really successful jobs, in the corporate industry as well, and others, I’ve seen entrepreneurs being picked out by investors going – I don’t quite like your business idea but you are investable, would you come around this business for me and again that’s a massive success story.

I think that’s a tribute to them as individuals but the fact that we focus on the individuals development, means that they are great entrepreneurial leaders.

For more about the support programme click here: