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Virgin Money announces its partnership with Virgin StartUp which will benefit tens of thousands of early-stage business founders. Virgin StartUp offers expert advice, guidance and support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and will bring this expertise to Virgin Money customers to help them start and scale their businesses. The partnership comes as data from Companies House* suggests the pandemic has seen over 90,000 more businesses created in 2020 than in 2019.

Virgin StartUp is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a keen focus on entrepreneurship, founded in 2013 by Sir Richard Branson. Virgin StartUp exists to empower founders to not only start-up and survive, but thrive, by providing business advice, funding, mentoring, training and networking to thousands of founders around the UK each year. Now, more than ever, small businesses need support; new data from Companies House reveals that 768,777 new businesses were incorporated in 2020, up over 13% on 2019 (678,419). This suggests that the pandemic has created a surge in entrepreneurship, with many seizing the opportunity for innovation.

From June 2021, all Virgin Money business customers, including those under the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands, will have access to the support provided by Virgin StartUp and be able to join its growing community of 190,000 founders and future founders. As well as providing guidance and support for SMEs, this partnership will also provide them with the opportunity to take part in a range of discounted training opportunities, as well as access to new digital resources, including podcasts and video guides, which are being developed by Virgin StartUp in conjunction with Virgin Money.

David Duffy, CEO Virgin Money said: “The Virgin brand is synonymous with entrepreneurship and business growth, so we are proud to be launching our partnership with Virgin StartUp to give customers in the early stages of their business access to insight, training and networking to a global community. With more businesses being established during the pandemic, this partnership comes at a great time for our business customers, who will have the opportunity to gain valuable insight from the top professionals in their field.”

Virgin Money will sponsor a series of Virgin StartUp events, including its popular ‘MeetUp’ series, which will be delivered free to thousands of founders around the country each month. MeetUp events are designed for digital and provide an opportunity for the small business community to come together, learn from experts, founders and each other. Each session offers inspiration and practical solutions – through live panel discussions, audience Q&A, breakout sessions and networking. Since the start of the pandemic, Virgin StartUp has taken its MeetUp events online, attracting thousands of founders.

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director, Virgin StartUp said: “Virgin has entrepreneurship at its heart, having spent the last 50 years starting and scaling businesses around the world. In 2013, Virgin StartUp was founded by Sir Richard Branson to support the next generation of founders who are looking to do the same. Small businesses will be vital in helping to rebuild the economy. Our partnership with Virgin Money will help us both provide more of the support that is needed and be a driving force in Changing Business for Good. The partnership is focussed on supporting entrepreneurial Britain, giving founders access the right type of funding and expertise.”

Josh Bayliss, CEO, Virgin Group said: “This is a fantastic collaboration between Virgin Money and Virgin StartUp. Both organisations have innovated in their field, provide extraordinary experiences, and by working together they will make even more impact. Small businesses are an essential part of our economic recovery and the support from Virgin Money and Virgin StartUp will help make many entrepreneurs’ vision a reality”

Virgin StartUp also hosts specialist Masterclasses and Advanced Masterclasses, designed to give founders insight on more specific skills and areas of business including branding, marketing, building a team, funding journey and common legal mistakes. These deep-dive sessions will be offered to Virgin Money business customers benefit at exclusive discounted rates.

For founders ready to scale, Virgin StartUp’s two-day Scale Up programme is invaluable for later stage start-ups that are looking for help in expanding to the next level.

Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank will rebrand as Virgin Money in mid-March for business customers. The Bank is developing its market-leading working capital health proposition, which will transform its existing Business Current Account, and forms part of its commitment relating to the recent £35m award from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund. Throughout 2021, Virgin Money will seek to attract new customers who will benefit from innovative new capabilities and propositions that are being driven by the BCR award.

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