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NatWest announces additional £1 bn in funding to support female-led businesses

By Megha Bhattacharya

January 28, 2021

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natwestNatWest today announced an additional £1 billion in funding to help support female-led businesses in the UK recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has also committed to creating an additional 35,000 new businesses in the UK by the end of 2021, focusing its efforts on underrepresented groups and geographical inequality.

NatWest stated that the share of lending to female founders has been proportionately rising from 9.5% to 14% of total lending. The additional funding will be instrumental in representing new lending into the UK economy and in closing the gap between female and male entrepreneurs.

NatWest Group CEO, Alison Rose, commented, “As we build a purpose-led bank that champions the potential of people, families and businesses up and down the country, we are committed to supporting the UK’s recovery from the crisis. However, if women find themselves at even more of a professional disadvantage on the other side of this crisis, then we’ll be attempting to build an economic recovery whilst ignoring a huge area of potential.”

“All of us, from ministers to employers, have a duty to ensure that further pain isn’t felt disproportionately by women and that anyone who retains an ambition to start or grow a business is helped with targeted and innovative assistance. We’re determined to play our part and I’m pleased to confirm that we are now able to launch a second £1bn tranche of funding to continue and extend our support to female entrepreneurs and business owners.”

Recent research commissioned by NatWest in conjunction with YouGov has shown that 1 in 10 female entrepreneurs plan to start a business in 2021, 55% of female business leaders would not recommend starting a business in their sector in 2021, female entrepreneurs and business owners are 17% more likely to struggle balancing business with family life during the pandemic; and, nearly three quarters (71%) of female business owners and entrepreneurs found managing their business stressful during the pandemic, compared with just over half of males (55%).

Recently, Tyl by NatWest teamed up with UK-based FinTech charity Pennies. The collaboration will grants a proportion of profit to charities, meaning that Tyl customers can benefit causes offering support to UK communities by choosing to adopt Tyl as their payment partner. The companies stated that Macmillan Cancer Support, The Prince’s Trust and Hospice UK are the first three charities to benefit from this initiative. These charities have received grants worth more than £10,000 each.

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