“We have a nation of potential entrepreneurs, but they are held back by a lack of knowledge. NatWest wants to fill that gap and, in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark and KPMG, will be launching free business accelerator hubs across the UK over the coming two years. This will give thousands of entrepreneurs free facilities, free business advice and supporting networks to ensure they are given the best possible chance of success.”
Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking on 9th September 2015
Since 2015, 12 entrepreneurial hubs have been established throughout the UK including in Scotland and Northern Ireland to help entrepreneurs who want to start up as well as those who want to scale. Cre8ion has been one of the grateful beneficiaries of this scheme.
Not only are these hubs available to anyone (provided you meet certain criteria) they are completely free of charge (they don’t even ask for equity in your business) and you don’t have to be a NatWest customer to join up. Three programmes are available, the Pre-Accelerator, Accelerator and Fintech Accelerator (for businesses rooted in financial technology)
For an entrepreneur with an idea which they are serious about but no idea where to start, the Pre-Accelerator Programme is loaded with benefits and exciting opportunities. Equally, if you are looking to validate a business you have just started, you can get on this free, eight week intensive programme. A variety of associated events are run by business growth enablers and other local partners from the local hub as well as an online learning portal, webinars and digital workshops.
The Accelerator is a six-month programme for entrepreneurs with high growth businesses who are looking to scale up. Accelerator entrepreneurs get free office space in a state of the art environment, Wi-Fi and printing, 1:1 coaching, access to business mentors, access to legal and tech advice from Natwest partners and access to unrivalled networks and supply chains as well as bespoke events.
Our very own CEO Darrell Irwin joined up with Natwest and Entrepreneurial Spark in February 2016. From the outset, Darrell took full advantage of the mentoring and the networking opportunities. The enablers advised Darrell in many different areas and helped him take a successful, pioneering design department from within a charity to a become a fully fledged, limited company. The hub on the top floor of the Natwest offices at Temple Gate in Bristol became Cre8ion’s new home. Then, working with Levon Lister from Dell EMC (who partner with Natwest) Cre8ion mapped out plans for a market disrupting, automated branding platform, Genesis Brands. Working with Natwest’s Andy Jackson, Darrell created a growth plan that included Cre8ion funding its own premises, enabling more staff to be taken on. In October 2017 Cre8ion moved into its own offices in Filwood Green Business Park where you’ll find us all working hard devising original brands and top websites.
There are so many people at Natwest who have helped Cre8ion along the way and we are truly grateful for everything, the support we have been given has been priceless. If you need help to start or scale your business we could not recommend Natwest’s entrepreneurial hubs more highly.