By 2017 there will be at least 13 hubs giving around 7,000 entrepreneurs free access to a range of support and guidance over a five-year period.
At the beginning of next year hubs will be opened in the RBS’s headquarter at Gogarburn in Edinburgh, Belfast and Manchester and then later in the year in Cardiff, Milton Keynes and Newcastle.
Receiving the award at Scottish Financial Enterprise’s annual dinner in Edinburgh last week, Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at RBS, said:
"The teams at RBS and Entrepreneurial Spark are delighted to win this prestigious award and, as the only bank providing free business accelerators for early stage and start-up businesses across the UK, we would like to thank the judges for recognising the success of this partnership.”
Jim Duffy, founder and Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Spark, who collected the award with Gordon, said:
“I’m thrilled for the team at RBS on their award win, as Entrepreneurial Spark’s recent success and expansion is largely due to the fantastic support which we have received from RBS.
"One of the most exciting ventures of all is the opening of a hatchery in RBS's Gogarburn headquarters in Edinburgh. This is a strong signal from RBS that the bank is determined to support entrepreneurs across the UK by welcoming them into the heart of their organisation. It has been an incredibly busy and exciting year for Entrepreneurial Spark and there is no doubt that the expert advice and support which RBS provides chiclets, and the organisation as a whole, has played a huge part in this.”
Presenting the award, Sir Ewan Brown CBE, Chairman, Scottish Financial Enterprise said:
“RBS is being recognised for the unique and highly successful partnership it has forged with Entrepreneurial Spark, giving real support and assistance to new businesses. This is a true example of diversification in financial services, giving support to entrepreneurs in practical terms when they need it most.”
If you are interested in joining the Entrepreneurial Spark programme you can apply for the February intake online here.