The Telegraph and NatWest have launched the 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch list to shine a spotlight on some of the most exciting businesses in the UK.
Julie Baker, head of enterprise at NatWest Group, says: “We’ll be focusing on businesses that have only been trading for a few years, and we’re looking forward to offering a range of support to help them grow. For the selected 10, this includes mentoring and expert tuition on selling a company, as well as a £ 10,000 grant for one outstanding business.
“The latest Rose Review report says that in the past year – and for the first time ever – women have started businesses at a faster rate than men. These companies need support to grow, as this could add an extra £ 250bn to the UK economy if women start and scale companies at the same rate as men. The 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch list will celebrate female entrepreneurship and highlight the support that is needed for women business owners to succeed, and we wish everyone entering the very best of luck. ”
Part of the panel: meet the judges
The panel of judges coming together to select the 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch includes Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group; the Telegraph’s executive lifestyle editor, Caroline Barrett-Haigh, and its deputy head of lifestyle and weekend, Tory Young; Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) director Sandra Garlick; and key members from the Rose Review Board, including Debbie Wosskow MBE, co-founder of AllBright, and Jenny Tooth OBE, chief executive at UK Business Angels Association.
The judges including NatWest CEO Alison Rose will select 10 Highly Commended female-led businesses, whose founders will be given a dinner at Coutts on The Strand with executive private chef Peter Fiori and established entrepreneurs, and a place on the Coutts’ Exit Program, which is a one-day course teaching best practice on selling a company.
From that group of 10 Highly Commended female-led businesses, one – the Judges’ Choice – will receive a £ 10,000 investment grant from NatWest, as well as a year’s mentorship with a member of the Rose Review board, and the opportunity to benefit from NatWest’s support for entrepreneurs, including the bank’s 13 nationwide Accelerator hubs.
The overall highest scoring female-led business will also have the opportunity to be interviewed in the Telegraph and to benefit from the support of Rose Review Council members – this could be in the form of mentorship, networking, working spaces, funding, legal or accountancy help.
“Getting more funding to female entrepreneurs and unlocking their untapped potential continues to be a priority across our industry,” says NatWest’s Alison Rose.
“Data shows that more women than ever are starting new businesses and we must harness this potential. That means more financial institutions committing to delivering change and funding. We also need more direct support for businesses across the UK, and we must propose fresh, imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by women’s caring responsibilities. ”
All applicants who enter 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch will receive a free two-year subscription to the Telegraph, publicity for their business on a national level and full access to NatWest’s entrepreneur support.
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NatWest is dedicated to helping women succeed in business. To find out more, visit natwest.com