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Birmingham well-placed to boost female entrepreneurship

NatWest Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Alison Rose, has called on Birmingham business leaders to support female entrepreneurs, at the launch of a new women-only crowdfunding initiative.

Rose addressed an audience at Park Regis Hotel to officially launch the ‘Back Her Business’ programme and discuss what can be done to encourage more women into entrepreneurship across the region.

‘Back Her Business’ will support female entrepreneurs by helping them prepare their business ideas for crowdfunding. The programme has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder and forms part of NatWest’s wider commitment to reduce the gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship and create a further 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025.

The launch comes off the back of the Rose Review, which revealed £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men. It also highlighted that only one in three entrepreneurs is female.

47% of the aspiring entrepreneurs already supported by NatWest’s Accelerator Programme in Birmingham are women and Rose called on the region to continue leading by example to help tackle the national disparity.

Alison Rose, CEO commercial and private banking NatWest, said: “A key finding of the recently launched Rose Review, is that women experience lower access to funding than their male counterparts when it comes to starting or scaling a business. ‘Back Her Business’ is the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding platform and is an important step in supporting female entrepreneurs and unlocking the huge untapped potential that currently exists. It will provide valuable and tailored support to entrepreneurial women, and access to industry-leading advice. 

“We chose Birmingham for the launch of Back Her Business as it is already a hot spot for female entrepreneurs and this is something we want to champion. The fact that we have been able to support such a high proportion of female entrepreneurs through our local Accelerator Programme already is fantastic, and we want to see this continue.

“Backing female entrepreneurs helps everyone. It helps women of course, but it also helps our economy, the start-up and business ecosystem, and the wider region. For too long women have been put off from starting a business and we want to make this a thing of the past.”

The Back Her Business initiative will be delivered UK-wide through NatWest in England and Wales, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland and Royal Bank in Scotland.

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