NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund | Voting closes 5th May 2017, 12 noon!

Creating and empowering women-led enterprise is so key to tackling entrenched social challenges such as isolation but is also about tapping into talent, enriching lives and adding to the social economy.

iSE will be supporting 20 new women-led enterprises through the NatWest SKILLS AND OPPORTUNITIES FUND if we win your vote for Enterprise Skills for Women (ESW).

ESW addresses the lack of culturally-appropriate start-up business support for women from BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) backgrounds locally. The project will build the skills and confidence of disadvantaged women, breaking down cultural and gender barriers to starting an enterprise.

In addition, this award funding will allow 100 women from inner city Birmingham to benefit from courses on personal and business finance. Along with 60 who will take part in a customised enterprise start-up programme.

Participants will have access to experts and workshops in finance, markets, enterprise development, marketing and technology – both face to face and online. A monthly network meeting will encourage learning, inter-trading and peer-to-peer support, while additional mentor support and hot desks will empower the participants to ‘fast track’ their businesses.

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes said: “At NatWest we know that we can make the biggest difference when we help people help themselves. All our shortlisted projects have so much to offer people in their communities, so we’re asking the public to get behind the good causes that matter most to them.”

*VOTING CLOSES Friday 5th May 2017, 12 noon*

Please follow the link and use your vote to ‘CHANGE LIVES | CREATE OPPORTUNITY’.


TWITTER:   @iSE_CIC   @NatWestBusiness #skillsandopportunities


The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund launched in May 2015 and since then has given away over £5m in funding. The Fund awards £2.5m annually to good causes in two tranches. The Fund provides grants of up to £35,000 to local not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland that are helping people in our most deprived communities to gain the skills and opportunities to develop financial capabilities or set up their own business.

The Fund is estimated to have reached over 25,000 people since its inception, contributing to each individual’s chance to succeed, and is likely to positively impact at least double this number by the end of 2017.