Back Her Business helps West Midlands female entrepreneurs access funding

A Walsall-based entrepreneur behind a plastic-free cosmetics brand, is just one of the 152 women in the Midlands and East of England who has benefitted from NatWest’s innovative Back Her Business crowdfunding platform over the last 12 months.

Becky Shuck, founder of Stript Cosmetics, a cosmetics and skincare retailer selling products completely free from plastic packaging, is using Back Her Business to raise a target of £2,000 of funding.

If successful she will receive £500 of additional funding from NatWest to support her campaign.

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, it has helped 152 projects led by female entrepreneurs in the Midlands and East of England. To date NatWest has pledged £174,000 for these programmes.

Back Her Business 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.

Over the next 12 months, NatWest hopes to help even more female-led businesses in the West Midlands secure business funding through Back Her Business.

Becky will use the funding to pay for the cosmetics certification of her make-up products, as she expands her product range from solid shampoo bars, soaps, body lotions and bath bombs, to make-up free from plastic packaging.

Every cosmetic item needs to be tested for human use and the funding will go towards animal-free testing of products to ensure they are fit for market.

She will also be able to finance biodegradable or reusable packaging options, and fair trade, organic, or recycled ingredients for the products.

Becky said: “I founded Stript Cosmetics after realising how many unrecyclable components there are to beauty packaging, these result in most of it ending up in landfill. I’m sure many people are like me, not realising the amount of plastic waste they are generating from using cosmetics.

“The support and guidance from Back Her Business has allowed me to transition from seeing Stript Cosmetics as a hobby, to knowing it will be a brilliant business that will make an impact on sustainability in the beauty industry.

“Whatever the outcome of my crowdfunding campaign, I want Stript Cosmetics to not only produce a ground-breaking range of plastic-free make-up but also provide an educational platform for people to learn how to adapt their everyday routine to be more sustainable, right down to their make-up and cosmetics.”

Back Her Business launched in March 2019 following NatWest’s Rose Review, which revealed £250 billion could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men. The Government backed report also highlighted that only one in three entrepreneurs are female.

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 Becky by providing them with industry-leading advice and mentorship.

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

To find out more information about Back Her Business go to https://natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/

Or to support Becky and Stript Cosmetics visit https://natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/stript-cosmetics-plastic-free

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