The Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest accelerator hub in Manchester has brought £60 million of investment to local businesses in its first year.

Since opening the hub at Hardman Boulevard in February 2016, Entrepreneurial Spark has helped 115 local businesses raise that funding amount while creating 169 jobs.

The average turnover per business in the hub was almost £100,000.

“We are very proud of all of our entrepreneurs and their commitment to the programme which is enabling them to create jobs, secure investment and support their local economies,” said Dale Sidebottom, entrepreneur development manager at NatWest.

The businesses supported by Entrepreneurial Spark have now turned over £176m and secured £151m in investment.

There are now hubs open in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and across all sectors.

Crucially the number of jobs created by those businesses is 3,152.

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Caroline Stevenson is CEO and founder of Foodinate, a social enterprise which teams up with restaurants to create a sustainable impact on food poverty in the UK.

The business has significantly grown in confidence since joining Entrepreneurial Spark.

She said: “I've grown in capability. I've been building up my expertise and confidence.

“Before, the idea of pitching to a crowd scared me to death, but now I know I can do it and know my business inside out.”

An impressive 85 per cent of the businesses accelerated are still trading, which is more than double the national average.

Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, said: “Our vision is to create positive social change by giving people the chance to grow and create jobs, and value in the economy.

“It’s really gratifying to see that those entrepreneurs have now created 3,152 jobs across the UK, all of them creating social change by contributing to their communities and local economies.

“Our partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland is such a powerful one and enables us to give hands-on practical help to start-ups of every kind, from that first spark of an idea, right up to bigger businesses needing to scale and grow.

“We also love working with KPMG, Dell Technologies and Harper Macleod because as the experts in what they do they offer so much to our entrepreneurs.”