The NatWest Liverpool Pre-Accelerator is now open for applications from entrepreneurs across the city region who need business support to bring their ideas to life. The Pre-Accelerator is a fully-funded eight-week digital learning course that gives innovators the opportunity to achieve their business aspirations through intense online training and connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. Applicants will be able to take part in the introductory ‘Ignition’ event on Tuesday 20th November, and also attend a mid-way workshop in December to swap their experiences with other participants. They will also be invited to the programme’s closing ‘Celebrate’ event, where they will be able to discuss what they’ve learned along the way and further develop their network. All meet-ups will be streamed online. Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship at NatWest said: “We are determined to be the leading bank for entrepreneurs by powering UK businesses to start, scale and succeed. The launch of our Liverpool Pre-Accelerator demonstrates our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses grow and succeed as quickly as possible. “Our bespoke Pre-Accelerator digital learning programme will equip them with the tools they need to bring their business ideas to life, as well as connecting them with other like-minded entrepreneurs and their local business ecosystem.” Liverpool is the first location in the country to benefit from the NatWest Pre-Accelerator programme and joins the nine existing NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator hubs in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Newcastle. The programme is supported by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Mark Basnett, managing director said: “I am delighted that NatWest is launching its highly regarded Pre-Accelerator programme here in Liverpool City Region. Helping small business owners with growth potential and ambition to scale up their businesses is a strategic priority for the LEP. They are the future of our economy and vital to our city region’s growth. “This excellent programme provides an opportunity for our local business leaders to engage with other aspiring businesses, build their networks, enhance their leadership skills and develop tailored plans to deliver enhanced business growth and productivity.” The Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub, which is backed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), was launched in 2016 to provide a joined-up approach to business support across the region by increasing the awareness of the public and private sector support available to entrepreneurs, SMEs and scale-up companies. To find out more about the programme and how to submit an application, LCR entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit business.natwest.com/business/services/accelerator.html, or contact the programme leaders at Accelerator@natwest.com.