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Majority of West Midlanders 'dream' of self-employment

More than half of people in the West Midlands hold ambitions of becoming their own boss, according to the latest ‘Entrepreneur Monitor’ report by NatWest.

The findings come as NatWest opens its next round of applications of the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator, located in Colmore Business District – Birmingham’s ‘square mile’.

To date, NatWest has welcomed 120 fledgling start-ups onto its programme, which offers free business support including desk space, ultra-fast Wi-Fi, business mentoring and access to networking events.

Lee Currier, entrepreneur development manager, NatWest, said: “Birmingham has always been a city of a thousand trades, so it’s little surprise that as the economy improves more people are considering self-employment.

“However it is a big leap to take, with many saying they feel they lack the knowledge and support to do so.”

Ian Moffatt, head of national markets, KPMG, believes the support of business accelerators such as NatWest’s Entrepreneurial Spark is vital to the long-term success of new firms.

“While the idea of being your own boss may sound tempting and even glamorous, the reality is that for many people starting out on their own and taking that leap into the unknown can be a truly daunting, and even lonely experience,” said Moffatt.

“This is why the support and guidance provided by Entrepreneurial Spark, with support from NatWest and KPMG is so vital.”

Anna Soubry, minister for small business, added: “I welcome the continued work of RBS’ hub in Birmingham, which plays an essential role in promoting enterprise in the region.

“This, along with initiatives like the Government-backed Business Navigator Growth Hub, ensure businesses can access the support they need to succeed, when they need it.

“We will continue to back entrepreneurs across the country and promote schemes that drive innovation and create jobs for hard-working people.”

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