For the last 16 years, NatWest has been working side-by-side in partnership with The Trust, flying the flag for youth innovation and enabling tens of thousands of disadvantaged young people to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses.

Why? Because making youth enterprise work is vital to the UK economy.

James Graham, Community Programmes Manager at NatWest says:

Supporting youth enterprise through The Prince’s Trust is important; it helps young people from difficult and disadvantaged social backgrounds get jobs, it creates business, it promotes wealth, and that is good for the economy and very relevant to a bank.

In 2015, a donation by NatWest was pledged specifically to help young entrepreneurs; that donation contributed towards The Trust's Enterprise programme, supporting more than 8,600 young people to explore their business idea.

“We want to inspire and enable young people to unlock their business potential, and what’s so good about The Prince’s Trust and its Enterprise programme is the way in which it helps young people do this. It asks the right questions in the right way and makes sure the people it helps are ready to start a business and can make a proper business case for it.”

The programme’s proven formula balances intensive business training with long-term mentoring to ensure young people have the strongest foundations on which to build and sustain their business ideas. Many of these young people overcome enormous social and personal hurdles to get their businesses off the ground, and each year NatWest applauds their achievements through its sponsorship of The Trust’s regional and final Celebrate Success Enterprise Award.

“What these young people achieve through The Prince’s Trust is amazing, and it is important to us that their efforts are recognised. Celebrate Success is a great way to do this and because we work with The Trust through our regional offices in places like Manchester, Scotland and the South East, our people on the ground can go along and see the effects our partnership has in their region. It’s very effective.

Our people really enjoy meeting the young people face to face. Hearing their personal stories is very powerful and makes us proud to be supporting them.

Testament to this is the extent NatWest staff embrace the partnership. They have jumped on board fundraising activities – such as Million Makers – raising in excess of £1.2 million in doing so, and they have given their time individually, directly supporting young people in changing their lives. Last year, 378 NatWest professionals dedicated more than 3,640 hours to The Trust, running employability workshops and providing mentoring to 2,521 disadvantaged young people.

Enriching the partnership and its power to inspire new entrepreneurs is something that NatWest and The Trust are fully committed to. It is why, each year, NatWest sits down with The Trust to develop a strategic and dynamic communications plan that not only highlights the benefits of their partnership with The Trust to their stakeholders and policy makers, but encourages more young people to turn to The Trust for support. These plans have helped create viral campaigns, like 2015’s My Big Idea – a series of commercial-style films which profiled spoof business ideas and prompted viewers with a call to action linked to the Enterprise programme. The films received 64,631 views, and there was a 25% increase in Enterprise programme enquiry forms during the first week of the campaign.

“That was a fantastic example of a corporate partnership working together to create a quantifiably positive impact on the partnership and charity programme.

I am really impressed with how supportive The Prince’s Trust is in doing what’s best for our partnership. It is constantly on the lookout for ways in which it can support us. If you’re looking for the right programme and have an area you want to focus on that’s relevant to your business, The Prince’s Trust will support you in achieving that goal, and in a way that is genuinely in partnership with you.

The relationship between The Prince’s Trust and NatWest is changing young lives on a daily basis and still has plenty of room to grow. Thanks to NatWest’s generous support and the value it places on improving the prospects of young people, its partnership with The Trust is helping to shape the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.