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NatWest partners with VC fund to support Black entrepreneurs

More than 10,000 Black entrepreneurs will be supported by the new venture between NatWest and Black Seed.

a couple of men posing for a picture

Cyril Lutterodt & Karl Lokko/Black Seed.

NatWest and Black Seed, a venture capital seed fund dedicated to Black founders in the UK, are partnering to support more than 10,000 Black entrepreneurs.

With funding from NatWest, Black Seed will deliver workshops online and in-person to early-stage business owners across the UK to help them fast-track their businesses.

In addition to the workshops, some of which will take place at Black Seed’s Brixton accelerator hub, there will be a start-up weekend next month with £10,000 up for grabs from  NatWest that businesses will be able to pitch for.

“We’re committed to supporting Black entrepreneurial talent and our partnership with Black Seed builds on our success in having 27% of our NatWest accelerator places going to ethnic minority business owners,” NatWest Group head of enterprise Julie Baker said.

Baker explained that the partnership will also help deliver recommendations from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship’s Time to Change report, which NatWest supported.

“By working with Black Seed to deliver online and in-person expertise we can give strong support to ambitious Black business owners who want to take their company to the next level.”

Baker will feature on the pitching panel as well as other “experts in scaling businesses”.

There are also plans for a similar event in Manchester in the new year, which will also help Black entrepreneurs across the UK get support in seeking funding, gaining skills and networking.

“Black founders are over-mentored and under-funded,” Black Seed president and managing partner Cyrill Lutterodt said.

“We believe that when we economically empower underrepresented communities, we all stand to gain from the benefits. This partnership highlights NatWest as a journeying partner to deliver support to these underrepresented businesses.”

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