NatWest and SE100 announce Social Business Club partnership

NatWest has announced the next phase of its long-standing relationship with the social enterprise sector by launching a new initiative with the SE100 Index. The NatWest SE100 Social Business Club will offer a package of business support via a special programme of free events and magazine content.

The bank has partnered with the SE100 Index and the NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards since they launched six years ago, and the Index now has a community of more than 1,300 social enterprises who share their business and impact data on an annual basis. Over the past two years the bank has also hosted an annual Insight event in Edinburgh to bring some of the SE100 community together to network, share their experiences and sharpen their skills with lectures and workshops from a range of business leaders.

The success of these events provided the impetus to go further – with several events planned for this year in different parts of the UK, as well as an ongoing series of business support content in Pioneers Post. Mark Parsons, head of community finance and social enterprise at NatWest explained: “Last summer we hosted an SE100 insight event up in Scotland and we had some amazing feedback. The enterprises present really valued the opportunity to hear from industry experts and, importantly, to hear from each other through peer learning and networking. 

“So we’ve listened and thanks to the new NatWest SE100 Social Business Club we’ll be putting on three more similar events around the country – as well as a SE100 stream at the Good Deals conference – that will cover all aspects of running a social business.” The events will be delivered jointly by NatWest and Pioneers Post’s sister company Matter&Co and are intended to provide social businesses with both the advice and resources they require to thrive and grow.

Running a social enterprise can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be challenging and at times, lonely.

Marcelino Castrillo, managing director of business banking at NatWest, said: “Running a social enterprise can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be challenging and at times, lonely. We want to create a community to support the hundreds of social business owners who are members of the NatWest SE100. Our aim is to bring together like-minded social entrepreneurs to share their skills and experience and to get access to relevant events and information. We want them to share best practice and insights and to encourage and inspire one another.”

The NatWest SE100 Social Business Club will be a key partner of the Pioneers Post Business School – supporting a series of practical and inspirational content, including frontline case studies and expert advice on key areas of business management for social enterprises. Pioneers Post will produce this content both online and in print, including written content, videos and podcasts. The content will also form a dedicated Collection on the Pioneers Post website.

Club members are also being offered a host of other benefits including free or subsidised tickets to Good Deals, the UK’s leading annual social enterprise and social investment conference, complimentary or discounted subscriptions to Pioneers Post Quarterly and reduced fees and support with business loans from NatWest Social & Community Capital, the bank's social lending charity.

Tim West, CEO of Matter&Co, the company that created the NatWest SE100 Index, said: “Whether it’s motivating your team, finding finance to grow, developing a strong brand or measuring your impact – there are so many key aspects to building a great social business. The NatWest SE100 Social Business Club aims to help social ventures learn and grow together through a programme of inspiring but very practical events and content. It’s great that NatWest are once again putting their energy, commitment and business knowledge behind supporting UK social enterprise in this way.”

Social ventures can be invited to become a member of the NatWest SE100 Social Business Club and therefore access events and shared content when they complete their profile on the NatWest SE100 website.

Photo credit: Ollie Whittall