October 24, 2019 @ 14:40 by Chloe Holmes
NatWest Bank has pledged its support as a partner of the region’s only startup business competition open to all sectors, the If We Can You Can Challenge (IYCWC).
In light of the new collaboration, IWCYC will run its first networking event solely designed to support aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas, showcasing the Back Her Business initiative and entrepreneurial support the NatWest team offer.
On 24 October 2019, at River Beat, Gateshead, the team will host the first event for this year’s Ideas Prize applicants. Similarly to the recent event in collaboration with NEL Fund Managers, IWCYC will run a networking workshop prior to the event to help participants build confidence and develop their skills so they are ready to get connected to key members of the business community, competition partners and enterprise stakeholders.
NatWest supports entrepreneurs in the heart of Newcastle by offering monthly events, banking support and mentorship. The bank has also launched the new Back Her Business crowdfunding which supports female entrepreneurs to raise money in the early stages of their business through a tailored programme. NatWest’s Entrepreneur accelerator offers a plethora of support for businesses of all stages, from start-ups through to high growth and scaling businesses, including a vibrant hub of office space and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. This support is what NatWest and the Entrepreneur Accelerator will be showcasing as an IWCYC partner.
Nickie Kilkenny, business growth enabler at NatWest, said: “We are very excited to be a part of this year’s IWCYC challenge. At NatWest we believe that startups are central to economic growth right across the North East and UK and we want to do what we can to support them in their development. IWCYC is a fantastic way for the region’s startup community to come together and discover what is achievable by working together.”
The IWCYC competition has also received recent pledges of support from the team at Super Innovation Network, specifically business mentor Jordan Dargue, who is project managing its new angel investment accelerator.
The competition is also proudly supported by NEL Fund Managers who was the headline sponsor for the most recent, and first of this year’s, IWCYC events. Around 25 participants in this year’s Challenge joined representatives of 20 firms from across the region at the first of a series of events which will provide opportunities for business owners/managers to meet a range of business contacts whose knowledge and experience could help their startup and early stage SMEs grow and develop.
The list of the If We Can You Can Challenge partners continues to grow beyond finance including pledges of support from Northern Print Solutions, Firestone Videos and Durham & Newcastle Universities, plus Teesside University as this year’s Ones to Watch partners and Sunderland University as Education partner with more collaborative partners to be announced soon.