A Rotherham entrepreneur behind an inclusive clothing brand is one of the 129 women in the North who has benefited from NatWest’s Back Her Business crowdfunding platform.
Founder of e-commerce business, championing people with disabilities, Busy Life, Dr Joanna Baker-Rogers (pictured) has used Back Her Business to secure £1,581 of funding, including £750 from NatWest.
Back Her Business supports female entrepreneurs by helping and encouraging more women to start and fund their own businesses in the early stages.
Since launching in 2019, the scheme has helped 129 projects led by female entrepreneurs in the North of England. To date NatWest has pledged £135,400 to these campaigns.
NatWest’s wider commitment is to reduce the gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship, by supporting the creation of a further 400,000 female-led businesses by 2025.
Joanna will use the funding to finance her range of Diversity Designs Technical T-Shirts, running tops with imagery of runners including parathletes, helping to bridge the gap between sport and disabilities.
She will also create new designs covering a wider range of Paralympic sports, as well as develop a more extensive range of disability imagery to add to her current collections.
“After completing my Doctorate in Special Needs Education, I was unable to find a teaching job,” she said.
“Instead, I decided to create a business that championed inclusion.
“Back Her Business has helped me reach the next stage of business growth and I would definitely recommend the platform to anyone starting or expanding a business. To have NatWest contribute towards your crowdfunding target is hugely rewarding.
“My plans, for the future, are to add more sports to my Diversity Designs collection and to partner with other businesses to increase my product range. I’m also developing a selection of inclusive toys and board games to develop the Busy Life brand further.”
Heather Waters, enterprise manager at NatWest, said: “At NatWest, our aim is to support entrepreneurial women like Joanna and help them drive forward ambitious ideas and business growth through Back Her Business.
“More than a year on from the launch of the UK’s first female-only crowdfunding platform, we are continuing to support successful entrepreneurs in the North and across the country by providing them with industry-leading advice, coaching and mentorship.”
To find out more about Back Her Business go to https://natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/