NatWest launches business hubs and entrepreneur monitor

NatWest, in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark and KPMG, will launch the largest network of free business accelerator hubs across the UK to support up to 7000 entrepreneurs over the next 5 years.

These findings show we have a nation of potential entrepreneurs, but they are held back by a lack of knowledge. NatWest wants to fill that gap.

Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Baning

In addition to this according to the NatWest Entrepreneurship Monitor, launched today, nearly half (46%) of Britons would prefer to be self employed, according to the NatWest Entrepreneurship Monitor.  The data, compiled for NatWest by Populus, shows a record 27% also think now is a good time to set up their own business, however, fewer than 5% of those who haven’t already done so are actually preparing to set out on their own.

In Brighton, launching the first of three Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator hubs due to open in September, Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest, said: “Despite improving economic conditions and a widely held desire to be self employed, only a very small number of people are actually taking the plunge.

“These findings show 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.”




To support entrepreneurs across the UK, NatWest is opening 10 Entrepreneurial Spark free business accelerator hubs, or ‘Hatcheries’ in its buildings across the country. Together with existing hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayrshire and Birmingham, the aim is to support 7000 entrepreneurs over the next five years in partnership with KPMG.

The programme will see new Hatcheries open in Brighton (9th Sept), Leeds (11th Sept), Bristol (15th Sept), Manchester (Feb ‘16), Belfast (Feb ‘16), RBS’ Edinburgh HQ, (Feb ’16 – to replace existing Edinburgh hub), Cardiff (Aug ‘16), Newcastle (Aug ‘16), Milton Keynes (Aug ’16), London Bishopsgate (2017).

Jim Duffy, founder of Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “We are delighted to be working with NatWest and KPMG to launch ten new Hatcheries across the UK over the coming two years, the first of which launched in Birmingham in February. Starting and scaling a business can be daunting, so we support budding entrepreneurs every step of the way in our Hatcheries, from hands on training at our #GoDoBootcamps and one-to-one enablement to providing them with free desk space and IT. We’re delighted to be powered by NatWest and look forward to working together closely to open more Hatcheries across the country over the next two years.”

Entrepreneurial Spark has already made a significant impact in Scotland, with almost 400 companies supported so far, £20m investment secured and over 1,000 new jobs created.

Ian Moffatt, head of National Markets at KPMG, said: “While the idea of being your own boss may sound tempting and even glamorous, the reality is that for many people, starting out on your own and taking that leap into the unknown can be a truly daunting, and even lonely experience.

“Couple this with the burden posed by administrative red tape, and the confusion caused by the myriad of incentives, reliefs and schemes that are available to assist small companies, and it’s no small wonder that entrepreneurs consistently tell us that they need more support. This is why the support and guidance provided by Entrepreneurial Spark, with support from Natwest and KPMG, is so vital.”

Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, concluded: “I welcome the opening of RBS’ latest hub in Brighton and the important role it will play promoting enterprise in the region. The launch of the Entrepreneurial Spark hub in Brighton, along with initiatives like the Government-backed Business Navigator Growth Hub, ensure businesses can access the support they need to succeed, when they need it. We will continue to back entrepreneurs across the country and promote schemes that drive innovation and create jobs for hard-working people.”

Download the NatWest Entrepreneurship Monitor [PDF 298KB]  

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Spark programme, go to




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