Procurement · 9 September 2015

NatWest begins rollout of new Entrepreneurial Spark Hatchery” accelerators

Many more cities and towns around the UK will get "Hatcheries"
Many more cities and towns around the UK will get “Hatcheries”
High street bank NatWest has declared that its growing network of free business accelerator hubs in Britain will help support up to 7, 000 entrepreneurs during the next five years.

Having seen an impact of 20m investment secured, 1, 000 new jobs created and 400 businesses supported though its work in Scotland, Entrepreneurial Spark will unveil ten hubs, or as it calls Hatcheries, in its buildings throughout Britain in the next two years.

Beginning in Brighton, where the ribbon has been cut, Leeds and Bristol will follow in September after which Manchester, Belfast and a new Edinburgh headquarters will open in February 2016.

The Entrepreneurial Spark programme lasts for six months, can continue for up to 18 months. Businesses involved can accessa “collaborative office environment suitable for building teams”, receive free IT & WiFI andaccess business enablement and support from a pool of “over 50 business mentors”.

The accelerators news was welcomed by minister for small business Anna Soubry, who believes the new Brighton hub will play an important role? in 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, she added.

we will continue to back entrepreneurs across the country and promote schemes that drive innovation and create jobs for hard-working people.

The beginning of Entrepreneurial Spark Hatchery? openings comes at the same time that NatWest revealed the contents of its Entrepreneurship Monitor. The survey found that 46 per cent of British people would prefer to be self-employed, while 27 see now as a good time to set up their own company.

Despite this, fewer than five per cent of those who havent already done so are actually putting in place plans to do so.



Hunter Ruthven was previously editor of Business Advice. He was also the editor of Real Business, the UK's most-read website for entrepreneurs and business leaders at the helm of growing SMEs.