Posted on:
6th June, 2019

Coast to Capital LEP Champions Female Entrepreneurs

Following the publication of the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship Coast to Capital is delighted to be chosen as one of two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to pilot a ‘Banker In Residence’. Picture: Left - Vicky Stevens, Coast to Capital Banker In Residence. Right - Julie Kapsalis, Coast to Capital Interim Vice Chair and Diversity Champion)

This initiative involves a colleague from NatWest working with the LEP to encourage collaboration and deliver positive action on supporting and profiling Diversity and Inclusion in business.  A particular focus will be to ensure that the Coast to Capital Growth Hub engagement with, and support of, women business leaders is equitable.  It will also help to ensure that programmes such as the Coast to Capital Growth Grant programme is accessed by more women-led businesses. 

NatWest’s Vicky Stevens has been appointed to the role of Banker in Residence and will be working on the initiative for 20 hours per week over a six month period to help support more female entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. One of the key measures for her role will be understanding the barriers of growth that prevent women led businesses from applying for grant funding and reaching out for support. 

Vicky has over 12 years’ experience in banking and has spent the last seven years specialising in business development. An ambassador for women in business she holds an accreditation in NatWest’s Everywoman program which supports female business owners to turn their dreams and ambitions into a reality.  

Vicky Stevens, Coast to Capital Banker In Residence said:

“The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in the world, but only one in three of our entrepreneurs is female - we need to be more ambitious and find ways to unlock the huge untapped potential. The launch of the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship provides the routes for how we, business, public sector and Government, can achieve this together. I am extremely passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs and I am delighted to have been given the exciting opportunity to work on this secondment project with Coast to Capital.  I am looking forward to reaching out to women business owners across the Coast to Capital area to hear about their experiences applying for grant funding and the barriers that prevent female entrepreneurs reaching out to access support.” 

Julie Kapsalis, Coast to Capital Interim Vice Chair and Diversity Champion said:

“I am passionate about supporting more women to set up and grow their own businesses and welcome the recent publication of the Rose review and its recommendations. Ten years on from my work as an Advisor to the UK Women’s Enterprise Taskforce (2006-2009), significant challenges and barriers remain to enabling more women to set up and grow their own businesses. Critically, the Rose review sets out the economic imperative and gain to advancing female entrepreneurship. I am particularly keen to ensure that schools, colleges and universities can play a greater role in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship to inspire the next generation.  I am particularly proud that Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership will be piloting one of the recommendations.”