KPMG has forged an alliance with Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest, the world’s largest free business accelerator, to create a ‘dream team’ that will deliver business advice and support to thousands of entrepreneurs across the UK.
This innovative alliance between the world’s largest free business accelerator programme and one of the world’s leading professional services firms will bring a wealth of benefits to budding businesses across Britain over the next three years as part of the highly successful Entrepreneurial Spark programme. Since forming in 2011, nearly 1000 start-ups have been supported with over 1,700 jobs created – all down to what Entrepreneurial Spark calls their ‘secret sauce’.
KPMG has committed to providing 1000 hours of support every month over the next three years as Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest continues its massive expansion throughout the UK. Hot on the heels of Hatcheries being launched in NatWest premises in Bristol, Leeds and Brighton, the announcement of a tie-up with KPMG is yet another step on the road to the accelerator’s stated goal of creating a ‘golden age’ for entrepreneurs.
The three year deal will see KPMG providing entrepreneurs, or ‘Chiclets’, in the Hatcheries with advice and guidance around issues such as developing better quality business plans; investor readiness; understanding the importance of cash and profit and recognising the impact of business decisions on company finances.
As part of the agreement, KPMG will also have a dedicated presence at Entrepreneurial Spark’s head office in Scotland delivering advice and guidance around investor readiness, while further one-to-one support will be provided on the ground at the Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest Hatcheries across the UK. KPMG has committed to a mix of secondments and providing a pool of talent in each location to ensure entrepreneurs receive the best possible advice as they build their businesses.
KPMG will also boost Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest’s start-up prize funds of six figure cash pots each year, awarded to the best entrepreneurs.
Finally, thousands of entrepreneurs supported by Entrepreneurial Spark and the bank will benefit from access to KPMG’s Small Business Accounting service, and KPMG will also bring its extensive network of business contacts and relationships to bear, enabling the entrepreneurs to access valuable business relationships and insight.
One start-up, or Chiclet, currently based in one of the Entrepreneurial Spark Hatcheries is award winning orthopaedic biotechnology company, Taragenyx. Located in the founding Glasgow Hatchery, Taragenyx were founded by former UK Chief Dental Officer, Professor Raman Bedi and Saltire Fellow, Dr Iain McDougall. Speaking on the role finance has played and the importance of being investor ready, Dr McDougall said:
“Taragenyx formed after securing $2 million (£1.3 million) in seed financing and we have another investment round from a top-tier venture capital fund on the cards for this year. Whether you are a high-growth technology company raising venture capital or a founder eager to maximise the cash position of your business, understanding and creating the best financing conditions available is fundamental to your progress.
“The fact that professional financial advisory firms, such as KPMG, are joining the Entrepreneurial Spark story, Chiclets across the UK will now be in an enviable position of getting the best advice to be investor ready and ultimately succeed."
Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest now has seven locations across the UK with Hatcheries in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Brighton being announced in the last two months to add to the existing three Hatcheries in Glasgow, Ayrshire and Edinburgh. The multi-million pound partnership allows Entrepreneurial Spark and RBS and NatWest to offer free regional support to thousands of budding entrepreneurs.
He said: “At the heart of KPMG Enterprise is a deep-rooted commitment to providing coaching, support and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, so we’re delighted that this new partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark and NatWest will enable us to provide a vital helping hand to early stage and growing ventures up and down the UK.
“Entrepreneurial Spark is working with the big businesses of tomorrow, so the more we can do to help entrepreneurs understand and get to grips with their numbers, and ultimately help them to secure investment, the better.
“We look forward to supporting our first intake of ambitious company owners over the coming months, and watching their businesses flourish.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship RBS and NatWest, commented:
“To have KPMG on board with us as we drive our support for enterprise is tremendous added value for the entrepreneurs in particular. Through working with KPMG and Entrepreneurial Spark, RBS and NatWest truly aims to become the bank for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Whilst finance is of obvious importance to these businesses, it's the networks, contacts, expertise and mentoring - in other words, the connectivity and know-how that we can bring to the table with KPMG - which will help make all the difference to these inspirational entrepreneurs. I look forward to embarking on this journey with them.”
Jim Duffy, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, commented:
“At Entrepreneurial Spark, one of our top challenges is ensuring that those start-ups which are seeking investment are truly investor ready. We searched the country for a leading accountancy firm willing to give back and support entrepreneurship, and were blown away by the commitment of the KPMG team. We look forward to working with them across the country over the next three years, enabling entrepreneurs across the country to grow their businesses, create jobs and support the economy.”
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Katy Broomhead, Senior PR Manager at KPMG
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KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773
About Entrepreneurial Spark
Entrepreneurial Spark® is the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures from all sectors that is completely free for the entrepreneur and takes no equity in supported businesses. Located across four spaces in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayrshire and Birmingham, with further UK locations launching over the next 18 months, Entrepreneurial Spark’s vision is to develop an entrepreneurial revival across the UK.
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
RBS is a UK-centred bank with its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland. It supports customers to access international markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.
RBS provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial, large corporate and institutional customers through its two principal subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and National Westminster Bank Plc, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank, Coutts.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.