Access to finance and funding is always one of the areas women ask most questions about. So, we thought we’d put your questions to the expert! Manjit Kang has decades of experience in finance and lending to small businesses. She is based in Birmingham and happy connect with our community – so feel free to contact her!
How easy is it to get access to finance for a start up or to grow your business with NatWest?
Supporting and encouraging people who are thinking about starting up on their own or want to grow their business is a core priority. The important role that these new businesses have to play within their communities and towards the local economy is not to be underestimated.
Providing access to finance is just one way in which we help customers who are considering starting a business. For example, we regularly hold free and impartial start-up surgeries ‒ with topics including tax planning, the different types of business entity and marketing. We’re happy to consider any business idea alongside personal bank statements dating back six months and a well-structured business plan.
What has NatWest done to encourage more women in business?
At NatWest, we are extremely passionate about enabling women to set up and grow a business. According to government statistics, women currently make up 52% of the UK population yet only 19% run their own business.
To address this huge shortfall of women to men in business, we have launched a ‘women in business’ proposition. The aim is to make it simpler for our female customers to get access to finance, share their ambitions and to offer relevant expertise for them to be successful entrepreneurs.
What are the biggest myths you come across regarding finance and starting a business?
One of the biggest myths I come across for both finance and starting a business is that banks don’t want to lend money. So many customers tell me that they would rather approach family and friends for finance and advice, rather than a bank.
This is far from the case, though there’s clearly so much more that we as an industry need to do to change this mindset. Holding regular women in business networking events and start-up surgeries enables us to address these myths.
What are your tips for women wanting to get finance from a bank?
My tips are exactly the same for both men and women. Make sure you run your bank account and finances well. Pay all of your bills and mortgage on time and keep a clear credit rating. Banks will assess how you conduct your current finances before lending you any further finance.
In your opinion what makes a successful female entrepreneur?
In my experience, when women break the glass ceiling and step out of their comfort zone that’s when the magic happens. Some of my female clients are strong, confident and successful and currently run three or four different businesses.
Women have the great ability to multi-task and when you can apply this to business, then the ordinary woman achieves the extra-ordinary.
You can contact Manjit for further information on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07799 868290.