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Entrepreneurs sought for first NatWest ‘Pre-accelerator’ in Lancashire

Lancashire’s entrepreneurs and business owners are being encouraged to apply for the region’s first NatWest Pre-accelerator programme.

Due to start early next year, the free programme, which runs over 24 weeks, combines online and offline activities and covers key business topics such as ‘customer discovery and validation’, ‘mindsets’ and ‘behaviours’, and ‘financial viability’.

It kicks off with an ‘Ignition’ event at Lancaster University on 28th January, where essential tools and techniques proven to help aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators develop scalable ventures will be introduced.

Simon Harrison, Enterprise Programme Manager at Lancaster University, who is working with NatWest to host the Ignition event, said: “There are vibrant communities of small and micro-business owners across Lancashire, many of whom aren’t aware of what support is available, or even of each other. This programme is a really exciting opportunity to access not only this fantastic content, but also to join a network of like-minded people working hard to transform the regional economy through innovation projects of all shapes and sizes.”

Since 2016, NatWest’s programmes have supported nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide, leading to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs and helping businesses attract more than £224m in investment. NatWest is particularly proud that there is an even spread of men and women on its programmes.

Places are limited so anyone interested in applying should complete the simple online form here as soon as possible. As well as the Ignition event, and access to the NatWest online content for 24 weeks, successful applicants will be invited to a number of peer networking events during the programme. Additional support, such as workshops and one-to-one guidance, will be provided through the ‘U Start’ business support teams at Lancaster University and UCLan to eligible businesses.

U Start is a partnership project between Lancaster University and University of Central Lancashire, funded by the European Regional Development Fund that aims to boost the number of start-ups in Lancashire.