The hunt is on to find Britain’s start-up stars of tomorrow as Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest, the world’s largest free business accelerator, opens its doors to the most promising and deserving fledgling firms in another three cities.
With a vision to generate positive social change through the action of entrepreneuring, the pioneering Entrepreneurial Spark programme is now open for applications to join their accelerators, or ‘Hatcheries’, which opens for business this August in Brighton, Bristol and Leeds.
The completely free ‘enablement programme’ sees up to 80 entrepreneurs, or ‘chiclets’, based in each Hatchery where they will benefit from six months of intensive support, as well as enjoying free access to essential start-up necessities such as superfast broadband, office space and telephones.
Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest aims to be the engine of a ‘golden age’ for entrepreneurs and is backing hundreds of innovative and creative start-ups across every imaginable sector.
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Its ‘secret sauce’ has already helped propel countless young firms to huge success, and Jim Duffy, CEO, is expecting big things from the latest additions to the national expansion.
He said: ‘These three new Hatcheries are hugely exciting for Entrepreneurial Spark and we look forward to championing the brightest, best and most determined start-ups in Bristol, Brighton and Leeds.
‘Just as we tell our start-ups, we are not stopping here or resting on our laurels. We will continue our national expansion to allow new businesses the length and breadth of Britain to benefit from the unique benefits Entrepreneurial Spark offers.
‘We focus on the person, not just the business, and ensure their behaviours are complementary to achieving success, and we do this all for free. That is our secret sauce which has seen us support over 350 businesses with a turnover of £41m in 2014. Blending that secret sauce and the imagination, creativity and determination shown by start-ups across Britain is an irresistible combination.
The highly successful business accelerator, founded in 2012, now has seven hubs across the UK. It has announced plans to set-up a further four hubs across the UK after securing multi-million pound backing from RBS and NatWest.
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “Our commitment to start-up businesses is highlighted in our multi-million pound investment and continued support of Entrepreneurial Spark. Jim and his team are inspirational and the highly successful work they carry out in Scotland will be replicated across the UK.”