KPMG has partnered up with business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark and created a team that will advise and support thousands of start-ups across the UK. Under the 3-year deal, the firm will donate a thousand hours of advice every month and provide start-ups with access to its network. In addition, KPMG will boost the prize money given to the best start-ups every year.
Entrepreneurial Spark is a free business accelerator, powered by NatWest, for early stage and growing ventures. The initiative has been established in 2011 to develop an entrepreneurial revival across the UK and “develop entrepreneurs who have a #GoDo attitude with a solid grasp of how to create value”. The programme lasts for 6 to 18 months and offers the start-ups mentors, ambassadors and supporters, workshops, pitch practice and a full time ‘entrepreneurial enabler’. Entrepreneurial Spark is located across the UK in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayrshire, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and Brighton in its so-called Hatcheries - collaborative office environment suitable for building teams. Since its forming, nearly 1000 start-ups have been supported with over 1,700 jobs created.
In line with KPMG’s commitment to starting entrepreneurs, the firm signed a three-year partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, providing the entrepreneurs, or ‘Chiclets’, in the Hatcheries with advice and support on issues such as developing better quality business plans, recognising the impact of business decisions on company finances, understanding the importance of cash and profit and investor readiness.
The firm will commit 1000 hours of support every month with a presence at Entrepreneurial Spark’s head office in Scotland and a pool of talent in each location to ensure entrepreneurs receive the best possible advice as they build their businesses. In addition to man hours, the firm will boost Entrepreneurial Spark’s start-up prize funds each year, awarded to the best entrepreneurs. Furthermore, all start-ups will have access to KPMG’s Small Business Accounting service and to the firm’s network of business contacts and relationships.
“At the heart of KPMG Enterprise is a deep-rooted commitment to providing coaching, support and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, so we’re delighted that this new partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark and NatWest will enable us to provide a vital helping hand to early stage and growing ventures up and down the UK,” comments Iain Moffatt, Head of Enterprise for KPMG in the UK. “We look forward to supporting our first intake of ambitious company owners over the coming months, and watching their businesses flourish.”
Jim Duffy, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, adds: “At Entrepreneurial Spark, one of our top challenges is ensuring that those start-ups which are seeking investment are truly investor ready. We searched the country for a leading accountancy firm willing to give back and support entrepreneurship, and were blown away by the commitment of the KPMG team. We look forward to working with them across the country over the next three years, enabling entrepreneurs across the country to grow their businesses, create jobs and support the economy.”