The bank’s former ‘executive wing’ has been transformed to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation, where a new, state of the art Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator hub, or ‘Hatchery’ will sit alongside Open Experience, RBS’ new Technology Solutions Centre.
Entrepreneurial Spark’s 2015 Impact Report, released today, shows 88% of start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs who have been through Entrepreneurial Spark’s unique enablement programme are still trading today. The report also highlights the scale of the support the accelerator is providing entrepreneurs across the country. Since Entrepreneurial Spark was founded in 2011, the 660 businesses it has supported have had an aggregate turnover of £85,891,661 (£40m, in 2014), attracted £45,167,348 of investment (£18 million in 2014) and created 1,816 jobs. As these figures demonstrate, Entrepreneurial Spark’s focus on leadership and growth marks it out when it comes to supporting the UK’s young enterprises.
The new Hatchery, opened in partnership with KPMG, will provide start-ups with expert enablement – focussing on developing entrepreneurial leadership mindsets and behaviours amongst the 80 businesses who will join the programme every six months. The Hatchery will offer free critical office facilities, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on establishing and growing their business.
As part of the Entrepreneurial Centre’s ecosystem they will be able to collaborate and network with enterprise support organisations and fellow entrepreneurs, as well as RBS staff. RBS employees will also be encouraged to work with business owners in order to learn from their entrepreneurialism and gain a better understanding of the challenges they face.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP commented: “The opening of the Gogarburn hub is a clear indication of RBS’s continued commitment to Scotland and I welcome that.
“Indeed, Scotland CAN DO – our national statement of intent – makes clear our ambition to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation, one in which growth and innovation go hand-in-hand with a commitment towards delivering wider benefit to all of society.
“By giving budding entrepreneurs and ambitious companies a dedicated centre to develop an idea, RBS is providing them with a solid foundation to start from and hopefully play their part in building on Scotland’s economic success.”
Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at RBS, said: “We are determined to support entrepreneurs and the impact they make in driving the economy. This is why we have created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will give start-ups the best chance, by taking away concerns about things like office facilities and letting them concentrate on their business. But we also want our staff to become more entrepreneurial, and by putting the new Hatchery at the heart of our Edinburgh HQ we want them to learn from the entrepreneurs and start thinking like them. This way they can understand our customers better and also help improve the culture of the bank.”