Female-only crowdfunding platform helps Staffordshire baker secure cash to kick-start business

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An entrepreneur who runs accessible cooking classes for all abilities has secured almost £2,500 to help kick-start her business.

Kate Murray, founder of Love to Bake, has raised £1,970 through NatWest’s innovative Back Her Business crowdfunding platform which supports female entrepreneurs and encourages more women to start and fund their own businesses in the early stages.

And with additional £500 funding from the banking-giant, Kate is now looking to buy some new cooking equipment to allow her to run her classes in partnership with charities, local councils, schools and private groups – and provide all of the equipment and ingredients needed for each session.

Kate, who lives in Stone, Staffordshire, said: “I have taught in schools and the community for 18 years specialising in food technology.

“I became increasingly aware of ‘pockets’ of people who did not have access to learning basic skills – these could be groups of elderly people, children who are electively home educated or people with learning difficulties.

“Back Her Business helped me realise that my idea could become a valuable business to help combat this educational need.

“Having friends, family and strangers pledge money to help me start-up was a huge confidence boost, knowing that other people believed in me.

“The funding will help me establish my classes and if they prove a success, I would eventually like to acquire a premises to run Love to Bake from, a place that will be permanently set up for groups to come for classes.”

Kate at Love to Bake is just one of 152 women in the Midlands and East of England who has benefited from NatWest’s Back Her Business scheme over the last 12 months.

The programme has been developed in partnership with Crowdfunder and forms part of NatWest’s wider commitment to reduce the gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship, by supporting the creation of a further 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025.

Heather Waters, enterprise manager at NatWest, said: “A year on from the launch of the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding platform, we are successfully supporting entrepreneurs like Kate by providing them with industry-leading advice and mentorship.

“We have already helped a number of women in Staffordshire drive forward their entrepreneurial ideas and business growth and we will continue to support entrepreneurs in the region and across the country going forward.”

For more information about Back Her Business, visit natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk.

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