The firms said the partnership would build on their “strong track records” on supporting women in business, with NatWest ringfencing £2 billion for investment in female businesses, teaching 56,000 16-18-year-old girls entrepreneurial skills in 2021 and aiming for 50 per cent of its accelerator hub spaces to go to women.
Meta launched #SheMeansBusiness six years ago as a long-term commitment to support women’s economic empowerment. To date, the programme has supported more than 1.5 million women around the world.
To further support women in business, the pair will be launching a competition running from April 11 to May 19 to offer 50 female entrepreneurs the chance to win Meta advertising credits, one to one digital mentorship and support to build a creative advertising campaign, as well as NatWest coaching and peer-to-peer sessions.
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The winners will be announced in June and judges will be looking for ways that the women go “above and beyond” to achieve in business.
News of support comes as NatWest and Getty Images launch a virtual gallery of pioneering female business owners built in the metaverse. With the creation of the Female Focus collection, the project is an attempt to “challenge the narrow view of women in business”.
Julie Baker, head of enterprise at NatWest Group, said: “More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential.
“The latest Rose Review progress report showed that women are starting more businesses than ever: last year 140,000 new businesses were founded by women compared to 56,000 in 2019.
“Supporting women to build their companies is a key next step and it’s great news that NatWest and Meta have partnered to offer all female entrepreneurs tuition and networking, and a lucky 50 women business owners an even bigger boost to their companies.”
Jacqueline Bourke, head of creative insights at Getty Images, added: “We believe there is a huge opportunity to upend stereotypes around female entrepreneurship, tell stories that have not been told before and show how the power of inclusive visuals can remove barriers to entry.”