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NatWest and Meta partner to support female entrepreneurs

With a record high number of women-led businesses in 2021, NatWest and Meta are partnering to support female entrepreneurs.

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Natwest and Meta are launching new training and support for female entrepreneurs.

The UK bank and social technology company will offer financial readiness training to all female entrepreneurs taking part in Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness programme.

The programme already offers digital skills training and the chance for women to expand their business networks by connecting with other entrepreneurs. 

#SheMeansBusiness launched six years ago in part of a long-term commitment from Meta to support women’s economic empowerment.

It has supported more than 1.5 million women around the world so far.

“Women small business owners have fought to keep their doors open during this pandemic,” director of global business marketing, EMEA at Meta, Carrie Timms, said.

“Whether it’s help getting an ad campaign up and running, or expert advice on business finance, we hope these new offerings will help women entrepreneurs come back from the pandemic stronger than ever,” she added.

The two companies are also launching a competition from 11 April to 19 May offering 50 female entrepreneurs the chance to win additional support for their businesses, coaching and mentorship.

NatWest is similarly building off existing support it offers women in business, having ringfenced £2bn for investment in female businesses and aiming for 50 per cent of its accelerator hub spaces to go to women.

 “More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential,” head of enterprise at NatWest Group, Julie Baker, said. 

According to the latest Rose Review progress report, there were 140,000 new female-founded businesses in 2021, which is two and a half times more than in 2018.

This means a record high of over 20 per cent of firms are now led by women.

“Supporting women to build their companies is a key next step and it’s great news that NatWest and Meta have partnered to offer all female entrepreneurs tuition and networking, and a lucky fifty women business owners an even bigger boost to their companies.”

Baker noted that the representation of women in the media “leaves much to be desired”.

This has led to NatWest and Getty Images launching a virtual gallery of female business owners showcased online in the metaverse.

“People's perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see,” head of creative insights at Getty Images, Jacqueline Bourke, said.

“Offering representative and inclusive imagery which portrays the diversity of female entrepreneurs can challenge limiting stereotypes and empower women to create the futures they want for themselves.”

In the second year of the project, the gallery showcases 30 competition winners from across the UK, from a martial arts business owner to a construction company entrepreneur.

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