NatWest has launched a new initiative to support female entrepreneurs in preparing their business for crowdfunding.

‘Back Her Business’ aims to assist female-led businesses as part of the bank's wider ambition to reduce the gender gap.

The bank aims to inspire and support 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025.

Crowdfunder will provide the infrastructure and access to its wider network of partners and entrepreneurs, with the bank acting as a connector and enabler.

Though most of the funding will come from 'the crowd' the bank will provide a top-up in funding of £1m per annum and will be offering up to 50 per cent of an individual's fundraising target (capped at £5,000) for certain successful projects.

“The wrap around support the programme offers has received the strongest feedback,” said Jill Arnold, NatWest's sustainable banking Lead in enterprise.

“Using the bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, our Women in Business proposition and industry experts, we will be offering bespoke training and coaching, networking opportunities and local events.

“We're also excited about showcasing role models who will not only inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, but guide them and help them on their journey.”

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NatWest's Rose Review recently revealed that only 5.6 per cent of women run their own business and further bank data shows that women are half as likely as men to start a business.

Arnold added: “The Rose Review, NatWest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Enterprise Tracker all reveal a worrying trend amongst would-be female entrepreneurs.

“We were told that they felt there was a lack of appropriate finance, mentoring, role models, local support and tailored advice and with Back Her Business, we want to tackle this head on.”

Rob Love, CEO of Crowdfunder, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for more women across the UK to turn their ideas into reality.

“Crowdfunding has been proven to help women validate their ideas, build confidence and raise the funds they need to make their ideas happen: more than half of our crowdfunding community is female.

“So we look forward to providing the inspiration and support, alongside NatWest, needed to help more female entrepreneurs get their business ideas backed.”