NatWest’s Cardiff-based entrepreneur accelerator has pivoted to become a fully digitalised programme for this month’s new intake of businesses while the coronavirus lockdown continues.
The accelerator will welcome a record number of businesses on the programme with over 80 start-up and scale-up businesses from across Wales taking part.
They will be supported in the exact same way the face-to-face programme operates with workshops, mentoring and other resources all being provided through the bank’s online portal.
Fully funded by NatWest, participants do not have to be a customer with the bank to take part in the initial six-month programme or give-up any equity in their business.
Since the Wales accelerator launched in 2016, over 700 businesses – from Fintech firms to fashion brands – have been through the programme creating a significant number of jobs and raising millions of pounds in investment and funding through the scheme.
This is the primary reason why the bank has worked to ensure the programme is able to continue during the lockdown with its latest cohort. When it is over, the programme will resume from NatWest’s One Central Square offices in Cardiff where participants will be provided with free office space for their companies.
Siwan Rees, Entrepreneur Development Manager, said: “Our NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerators support so many businesses throughout the UK, which is why we recognised the importance of the programme continuing during the lockdown.
“The pandemic is affecting these businesses in different ways – for some there will be opportunities and for others it will be a chance to refocus on the business and build the right strategies to grow when the lockdown is over. The programme will support all of their businesses by giving them the mentoring and support they need to realise and exceed their potential.”