West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has paid a visit to entrepreneurs who have taken part in the NatWest Clean Transport Accelerator at The University of Warwick, to hear how the expertise it provided has helped them to grow their businesses.

Launched in 2022, the NatWest Clean Transport Accelerator supports businesses in the mobility industry to develop products and services that will play a part in achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions, according to the banking group.

“It is aimed at businesses creating the next generation of clean transport and offers 6 months of fully-funded support to help them fast-track their innovations, as well as access experts in clean transport and equipment.”

Now training its third cohort of SME leaders, the Clean Transport Accelerator has created 47 local jobs, increased monthly turnover of the SME’s taking part by 28% and increased their average monthly profits by 400%, reports Natwest.

Speaking during his visit, Andy Street said: “Cleaner and greener transport can help our local businesses at the same time as playing our part in helping the planet – supporting our #WM2041 net zero commitment. Initiatives like this bring in investment and enhance our region’s reputation as a leading player in the forthcoming Green Industrial Revolution.

“I’m pleased to hear that applications are now open for the next programme and – from everything I’ve seen – I would encourage local business leaders to sign up and take part.”

James Holian, Head of Business Banking at NatWest, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to hear directly from local founders about how our Accelerator programme is positively impacting businesses in the West Midlands. As the UK’s biggest bank for start-ups, at NatWest we are dedicated to supporting businesses start, grow and succeed.

“Packed with experts, access to equipment, networking opportunities and funding advice, the Clean Transport Accelerator is a must for any entrepreneur keen to take their business to the next level.”

The programme is run by NatWest in partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group, a department of the University of Warwick.

“The accelerator programme is currently open for applications until 16th February 2024. Applicants can be from anywhere across the UK and cover a broad range of businesses, whether they are based within supply chains, are fuel providers, want to develop new means of transport, or be focused on specific transport such as light rail, cargo delivery or scooters,” a statement from the Natwest Group read.

The University of Warwick’s James Black who coaches SME leaders on the programme said: “Decarbonising transport is one of the most exciting opportunities on the planet right now and given the West Midlands’ role in previous transport revolutions, I feel incredibly privileged to be working in the West Midlands with entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of cities, transport and infrastructure.”

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