Royal Bank of Scotland has opened its new Accelerator Hub in Glasgow city centre.
Based at St Vincent Street, the new space, which can help up to 70 businesses at a time, was opened by Lord Willie Haughey and Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank of Scotland, Gordon Merrylees.
The entrepreneurial hub has been created to help assist in Royal Bank’s plans to support 5,000 entrepreneurs through a comprehensive programme of free mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching developed for entrepreneurs who want to grow and scale their business.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator is the UK’s largest free business accelerator network and is capable of supporting 1,000 entrepreneurs simultaneously in its 12 hubs based throughout the country.
To reach its target of supporting 5,000 entrepreneurs in 2018, Royal Bank of Scotland has created two distinct growth and accelerate packages which focus on the key driver to success – the entrepreneur.
The Acceleration programme is a 6 to 18 month programme for entrepreneurs with high growth businesses looking to scale up. Designed to ensure that these businesses get the best chance to succeed, entrepreneurs will receive free office space, free wi-fi, free business advice and mentoring, bespoke coaching, and access to the bank’s networks and supply chains.
The Pre-Acceleration programme is an intensive, 12-week programme for up to 50 early stage start ups. Run simultaneously in each of our Hub cities, entrepreneurs benefit from an introductory immersion day, online learning materials, webinars, digital ‘nutshells’ and a concluding celebratory awards event. This programme is complemented by a variety of events, run by the bank’s Business Growth Enablers as well as the bank’s local partners.
The digital-led Pre-Acceleration programme is a transferable and scalable proposition, allowing Royal Bank of Scotland to offer it in cities where there isn’t currently an Entrepreneur Accelerator hub.
All of this support is provided to entrepreneurs fully funded with no strings attached. Royal Bank of Scotland doesn’t take equity or a stake in their businesses, and the entrepreneurs don’t need to be customers of the bank. Royal Bank of Scotland has partnered with Dell EMC and Pinsent Masons who will also be offering entrepreneurs their expertise and advice.
Earlier this year, Royal Bank of Scotland announced that it had come to an agreement with Entrepreneurial Spark to transfer its network of 12 entrepreneur accelerator hubs to be 100% managed by the bank. According to the programme’s Impact Report, during the three years of bank support, the body assisted nearly 4,000 entrepreneurs. In turn, these entrepreneurs have raised £255m in cumulative investment and created over 8,000 jobs.
The new hub is currently home to 64 businesses across Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank of Scotland, Gordon Merrylees, said: “We are delighted to officially launch our new Entrepreneurial Accelerator Hub here in Glasgow.
“As a key supporter of small business in Scotland we understand the challenges that businesses need to succeed, especially during those crucial start up and scale up stages.
“The comprehensive programme of mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching that we have developed over the past three years has revolutionised the way we support entrepreneurs, and is really working.
“By building on this success and bringing the Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator network in-house, we can dramatically increase the number of entrepreneurs we’re able to support.”
Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scottish Board, said: “This is an important day for everyone here at Royal Bank of Scotland.
“Bringing the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Hub to the heart of our operations here in the West of Scotland shows our commitment to Scotland’s business community.
“Thousands of our staff already act as supporters and mentors to entrepreneurs through our Entrepreneur Development Academy. Now, in Glasgow, they will spend their working lives beside many of them. It is a great moment.”