Skip to page content
Projects Map


‘Expert in Residence’ supporting female-owned businesses to succeed in the South East

NatWest’s ‘Expert in Residence’ scheme is now available in the South East to help female entrepreneurs realise their growth ambitions. The programme has 28 dedicated roles across the UK who are based in Growth Hubs and in wider communities and are available to host events, provide expert insight and advice on business finance.

The initiative is running in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and follows a two-year long pilot of the scheme which showed significant difference can be achieved by those who receive independent support at key points in their business journey. The role also provides support to the LEP to access additional expertise to help female-led businesses achieve their potential.

The Experts in Residence for the South East are Andy Gray (Essex), Luke Pamflett (Kent) and Luke Cartwright (East Sussex).

These roles will also support with lending and banking services in partnership with specialists from the bank.

The Expert in Residence programme was developed following the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship in 2019, which was co-authored by NatWest Group Chief Executive, Alison Rose. The review demonstrated that up to £250bn of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men in the UK.

Eight new initiatives were proposed to help change the female business environment for the better, and it found that a key enabler is access to local, trusted, reliable expertise. The Expert in Residence programme aims to offer that enabler as well as providing the improved access to finance that will allow female entrepreneurs to grow their business further.

Regional Enterprise Director for London & South East, Gary Belton said:

Since the launch of the Rose Review in 2019, strong progress has been made in breaking down barriers facing female entrepreneurs, with considerable commitment and action across financial services and the wider business landscape. Yet there is more to do and, post-pandemic, support which is practical, face-to-face, and tailored to local communities, will be critical in enabling entrepreneurs to rebuild and thrive.

“We are delighted to be working with the South East LEP to roll out NatWest’s Expert in Residence and I encourage businesses to reach out to their local Expert in Residence via the Growth hub to take advantage of what they can offer – alongside the wider package of support available.”

South East LEP CEO Adam Bryan said:

“We know there is a real entrepreneurial spirit in the South East and we want to do all we can to support new businesses to start up and existing ones to grow. Our local Growth Hub service has served over 6,000 businesses in the past year with independent advice and guidance, and this is a great addition to the area.

“The nature and flexibility of work has changed in recent times and we hope this provides greater opportunities for female-led businesses in particular. The digital space provides many opportunities and those who receive support in this journey, and have expertise to reach out to, are more likely to be successful. We really welcome Gary, Andy and both Lukes, and this programme being delivered with NatWest.”

The Expert in Residence will have a number of activities happening across the South East in the coming weeks including a series of workshops based on NatWest’s Business Builder programme, online networking groups and 1-2-1 support.

Those interested in finding out more should contact their local Growth Hub:

East Sussex
Tel: 01273 335878

Essex, Southend and Thurrock
Tel: 0300 303 4864

Kent and Medway
Tel: 03333 602300