NatWest and Meta, formerly Facebook, today launched a partnership to provide financial readiness training and other support for women business owners.
This is available to all female entrepreneurs through Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness program, which also offers digital skills training and opportunities to expand business relationships and networks.
This partnership builds on NatWest and Meta’s strong track record of supporting women in business, with NatWest allocating £2 billion to invest in women’s businesses, teaching 56,000 girls aged 16-18 skills businesses in 2021 and targeting 50% of its accelerator hub spaces to go to women.
Meta launched #SheMeansBusiness six years ago as part of a long-term commitment to supporting women’s economic empowerment.
To date, the program has supported more than 1.5 million women globally in 33 markets.
To further support women in business, NatWest and Meta have launched a campaign running until May 19 that gives 50 women entrepreneurs the chance to earn Meta advertising credits, 1:1 digital mentorship and support for creating a creative advertising campaign, as well as NatWest coaching and peer-to-peer sessions.
The winners will be announced in June this year and the judges will look for ways the women go above and beyond to succeed in business.
This supportive news comes as NatWest and Getty Images launch a virtual gallery of pioneering female entrepreneurs from across the UK built into the metaverse.
With the creation of the Female Focus collection, the project attempts to challenge the narrow view of women in business.
It’s a nationwide movement to challenge stereotypes of female founders and help create a more diverse and inclusive visual landscape that shows entrepreneurs for who they really are.
This is the second year of the project and the photos on display are of 30 competition winners from across the UK, including a martial arts business owner, a farmer and a construction company contractor. Anyone can see the gallery and it will be accessible for six months.
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest Group, said: “More than ever, women are building businesses and we need to tap into that potential.
“Rose Review’s latest progress report showed that women are creating more businesses than ever before: last year, 140,000 new businesses were started by women, compared to 56,000 in 2019.
“Helping women build their businesses is a key next step and it’s great news that NatWest and Meta have teamed up to provide training and networking courses for all women entrepreneurs, and 50 lucky ones
“women entrepreneurs an even bigger boost to their businesses.”
“We know that the image of women in business used by the media leaves a lot to be desired.
“That’s why Getty Images and NatWest’s project to break stereotypes by showcasing photos of women in different industries is so refreshing. Get inspired and visit the Metaverse Gallery.”
Carrie Timms, Global Trade Marketing Director, EMEA at Meta, said, “Women small business owners have fought hard to keep their doors open during this pandemic.
“We at Meta want to be by their side, which is why we are proud to partner with NatWest on this new #SheMeansBusiness program.
“Whether it’s helping set up an advertising campaign or expert advice on business finance, we hope these new offerings will help women entrepreneurs emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”
Jacqueline Bourke, Head of Creative Insights at Getty Images, said: “We believe there is a huge opportunity to challenge stereotypes around female entrepreneurship, to tell stories that have never been told before and to show how the power of inclusive visuals can remove barriers to entry.
“People’s perception of what is possible is often shaped by what we see.
“Offering representative and inclusive images that depict the diversity of women entrepreneurs can challenge the limitation of stereotypes and empower women to create the future they want for themselves. This gallery does just that. of images aims to do.
“By showcasing a wide range of NatWest clients, this gallery authentically represents women of all ages and backgrounds working in a wide range of industries including agriculture, construction, blacksmithing, recycling, sustainable businesses, technology and well-being, while paving the way for greater financial inclusion and success.”