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New Expert in Residence Scheme Launches at Growth Platform to Support Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can now access financial support services at Growth Platform – the Liverpool City Region Growth Company, as part of a new programme.

The Expert in Residence scheme has been launched by Growth Platform in partnership with NatWest and aims to support entrepreneurs as they grow and scale-up their businesses. Natalie Hughes, Business Growth Enabler at NatWest, has been appointed as the Expert in Residence at Growth Platform.

The programme, which is being rolled out across England and Wales, has been developed by NatWest following the publication of the Alison Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship which recommended the need to ‘improve access to expertise by expanding the entrepreneur and banker in residence programmes’ to support the development of female entrepreneurship. Expert in Residence aims is to encourage collaboration and to deliver positive action by supporting and profiling diversity and inclusion in business.

As part of her role Natalie will be working with Growth Platform one day a week during which she will meet with customers and signpost them to appropriate options to help them grow their business. This may be through networking opportunities, using appropriate social media platforms or establishing new connections within the wider ecosystem.

Natalie said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started with this fantastic new programme and I am so pleased to have been selected as the Expert in Residence for the Liverpool City Region. This role is a great opportunity to provide local businesses with information and advice that will help them prosper and grow. Its focus is to support female entrepreneurs but not exclusively, and will include all business owners.”

Natalie has over 12 years’ experience in banking and has spent the last three years specialising in business development. An ambassador for women in business she holds an accreditation in NatWest’s Everywoman program which supports female business owners to turn their dreams and ambitions into a reality. Natalie was also awarded the Women in business champion award 2019 from The Women’s Organisation in October of this year.

 Mark Basnett, Managing Director of Growth Platform said: “Here at Growth Platform we are proud to provide support and access to advice for entrepreneurs and to encourage the growth of small businesses which are at the heart of our city region. We are also committed to supporting new ways to helping women overcome challenges in entrepreneurship and welcome this initiative. Natalie is a great addition to our team, and I look forward to her working with us and our partners in the business support landscape.”