Royal Bank of Scotland is launching a programme aimed at driving small business growth.
Boost is a new initiative designed to help companies move forward by establishing the right connections between businesses and offering access to relevant experts and resources.
Through a dedicated digital portal, small businesses can get access to valuable business insight and be connected to a team of 11 Business Growth Enablers operating across Scotland.
Operating regionally, their local knowledge and networks can connect businesses with each other, provide hands-on expertise and training, and will host regular workshops and events in their locales.
An entirely free project, the initiative is being officially launched at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Gogarburn Conference Centre in Edinburgh on January 19.
Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director of Business and Private Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Small businesses represent 54% of all private employment in Scotland.
“The sector is crucial to the economic success of the Scottish economy and it is important that as a bank for Scotland we do everything that we can to help them prosper.
“Being a small business owner brings its own unique set of challenges and our recent Enterprise Monitor report showed that whilst small business owners want to grow, 36% know where to go to for advice to help enable that growth and just a third feel they have access to the relevant advisors.
“Through Boost we aim to make this easier. We aim to create a pathway to the correct networks and make it easier to find the resources people need at all stages of growth. We will also give small businesses access to specialist services provided by partners including KPMG and Worldpay.”
Research by Royal Bank of Scotland and YouGov shows that 86 percent of small businesses acknowledge new business connections boost their growth, yet a third are still struggling to make them. Networking is seen to be so vital that a fifth currently spend up to £1,000 to make a single new business connection.
The free launch event at Gogarburn – which is open to businesses across Scotland – will feature a networking session as well as a series of workshops and presentations from expert speakers including KPMG, Scottish Business Resilience, WorldPay, Scottish Enterprise and social media specialist Linkedin.
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s economics team will also offer thoughts on the Scottish business outlook for the year ahead.
Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scottish board, added: “The Royal Bank of Scotland has supported Scottish business for 290 years and Boost is an opportunity to help a new generation of business owners grow and develop.
“This is a great opportunity to help bring the people, talent and skills we have across the country together to help our entrepreneurs and industries prosper.”