NatWest launches peer-to-peer coaching for entrepreneurs
NatWest, the UK’s biggest business bank, has today launched a new free support scheme for business owners who want to problem solve and gain insights from others in a similar position. The online workshops will be facilitated and structured by a dedicated NatWest accelerator manager in groups of no more than six people. The sessions aim to create a positive environment to focus on removing barriers to business so they can scale.
The online sessions are open both to NatWest customers as well as businesses that are not. They include four 75 minute workshops each month, where the bank’s accelerator managers will cover four themes: people management and leadership, businesses performance and resourcing, digital adoption and technology, and transition to sustainable business models. Together, the programme aims to encourage entrepreneurs to strengthen their network and learn from fellow businesses going through similar obstacles.
In November 2020, NatWest launched the SME Transformation Taskforce which brought together policymakers, business groups and small businesses to identify barriers and develop solutions for small businesses. Taskforce research has found that 56% of business failures are tied to bad management practices, and also found that UK SMEs are held back from upskilling effectively due to limited investment levels for management training. This means that 1 in 3 SMEs report that managers do not undergo any training. Peer-to-peer coaching is NatWest’s latest effort to try to address these issues and boost the growth of small businesses.
Andrew Harrison, head of business banking at NatWest, said: “We know that SMEs ambitious to grow are crying out to problem solve and learn from other businesses who face similar challenges and obstacles in reaching that next step of growth. We’ve listened to that feedback and with these new sessions led by our accelerator managers, businesses taking part can be confident that its structure will mean they’ll get a lot out of it. NatWest is committed to supporting businesses which want to scale and as part our broader Enterprise programme we’re proud to be launching this new initiative.”
The scheme is for ambitious high growth businesses which are looking to scale. Eligibility covers those which have received a minimum investment of £100,000 and/or have a £250,000 annual turnover, as sessions are tailored for these types of businesses. Companies need to have also been trading for at least a year and have at least two employees.
NatWest accelerator managers have thousands of hours of dedicated coaching experience of UK entrepreneurs at the bank’s 13 Accelerator Hubs nationwide. They will bring their wealth of expertise and knowledge to use the sessions to facilitate great conversations for leaders to gain insight, discover answers and build powerful networks. Peer-to-peer coaching offers an immediate intervention in supporting businesses without the need for them to wait to get mentorship at one of the NatWest Accelerator Hubs, ensuring they get support at the moment they need it.
Business leaders who wish to benefit from peer-to-peer coaching can sign up to sessions here.