NatWest and Meta partner to support female business owners

NatWest and Meta have launched a partnership to offer financial readiness training and other support to female business owners. It is available to all women entrepreneurs as part of Metas #SheMeansBusiness programme, which also provides digital skills training and opportunities to expand business connections and networks.

This partnership builds on NatWest and Meta’s track-records on supporting women in business, with NatWest ringfencing £2bn for investment in female businesses; teaching 56,000 16-18-year-old girls entrepreneurial skills in 2021; and aiming for 50% of its accelerator hub spaces to go to women. Meta launched #SheMeansBusiness six years ago as a long-term commitment to support women’s economic empowerment. To date, the programme has supported more than 1.5m women around the world in 33 markets.

The two companies will also be launching a competition from 11 April to 19 May to offer 50 female entrepreneurs the chance to win Meta advertising credits; 1:1 digital mentorship; and support to build a creative advertising campaign, as well as NatWest coaching and peer-to-peer sessions. Winners will be announced in June and judges will be looking for ways that the women go above and beyond to achieve in business.

NatWest has also launched a virtual gallery of pioneering female business owners built in the metaverse, in partnership with Getty Images. The Female Focus collection  is an attempt to challenge the narrow view of women in business. It is a nationwide movement to tackle stereotypes of female founders and help create a more diverse and inclusive visual landscape that shows entrepreneurs as they really are.

This is the second year of the project and the photos exhibited are of 30 competition winners from across the UK, including a martial arts business owner, a farmer, and a construction company entrepreneur. Everyone can view the gallery and it will be accessible for six months. 

“More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential,” said Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest Group. “The latest Rose Review progress report showed that women are starting more businesses than ever: last year 140,000 new businesses were founded by women compared to 56,000 in 2019. 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 50 women business owners an even bigger boost to their companies.”