New Expert in Residence Scheme Launches at Worcestershire LEP

Entrepreneurs can now access financial support services at the Worcestershire LEP as part of a new Programme.

The Expert in Residence scheme has been launched by the LEP in partnership with NatWest and aims to support entrepreneurs as they grow and scale-up their businesses. Deborah Norton, Business Growth Enabler at NatWest, has been appointed as the Expert in Residence at the Worcestershire LEP.

The programme, which is being rolled out across England and Wales, has been developed by NatWest following the publication of the Alison Rose Review into Female Entrepreneurship which recommended the need to ‘improve access to expertise by expanding the entrepreneur and banker in residence programmes’ to support the development of female entrepreneurship. Expert in Residence aims is to encourage collaboration and to deliver positive action by supporting and profiling diversity and inclusion in business.

As part of her role Deborah will be working with the Worcestershire LEP one day month during which she will meet with customers and signpost them to appropriate options to help them grow their business. This may be through networking opportunities, using appropriate social media platforms or establishing new connections within the wider ecosystem. Deborah is also involved with Worcestershire Business Central  where she supports their scale up, roundtable and business growth activities.

Deborah said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started with this fantastic new programme and I am so pleased to have been selected as the Expert in Residence for the Worcestershire LEP. This role is a great opportunity to provide local businesses with information and advice that will help them prosper and grow. Its focus is to support female entrepreneurs but not exclusively, and will include all business owners.”

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire LEP, said: “We are delighted to have Deborah’s support from NatWest to advise and developing growing businesses in Worcestershire.  The scheme will provide vital information and guidance to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs to ensure that those people running and owning businesses can access guidance on a range of business issues.  This is particularly the case for female business owner and managers as we are seeing women led businesses growing five times faster than the national average.”