UK banks Coutts and National Westminster Bank (NatWest) have joined forces to launch an accelerator programme for entrepreneurs in the esports, gaming, streaming and social media space across the UK.
The six months-long programme is aimed to help influencers build and grow their businesses within the aforementioned sectors.
The programme will be delivered in partnership with the NatWest Accelerator, which is focused on empowering UK entrepreneurs and is formally endorsed by not-for-profit company ScaleUp Institute.
The accelerator will reportedly concentrate on helping with skill development, knowledge and networking. Starting in June 2022, the programme will provide fully-funded access to a range of tools and opportunities, including one-to-one coaching as well as in-person and virtual educative events.
Paul Franks, Interactive Entertainment Lead at Coutts, told Esports Insider: “The esports scene is growing rapidly but there’s still more to be done to help entrepreneurs break into this space, and develop their careers.
“Through launching this accelerator, we want to connect esport entrepreneurs with experts and specialists to build their businesses, and to show our commitment to this market.”
According to the release, NatWest has supported more than 3,500 businesses across the UK since 2018 through the accelerator. The project includes programmes specialising in high growth, climate, fintech and purpose-led.
Coutts also previously partnered with Strive Sponsorship to support the growth of revenue for esports businesses in the UK.
Franks added in a release: “By helping entrepreneurs form a business and a strategy behind something that is normally considered a hobby, we’re striving to change the misconception that being in interactive entertainment isn’t a ‘real career’.”
Esports Insider says: It’s good to see major banks being invested in developing esports and gaming industries not only through regular partnerships but also through active initiatives. With the increasing number of entrepreneurs in the interactive space, such initiatives could have a great impact on further growth within esports, gaming, streaming and social media sectors.