Alison Brittain, Group Director, Retail Division said: “Small businesses are vital to the UK economy and we’re proud to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Jen Tippin, Managing Director of Retail Business Banking, said: “From manufacturing to new services and innovative technology, the range of companies starting up is inspiring. Supporting over 100,000 new start-ups is part of the Group’s commitment to helping UK businesses prosper.

“Our local knowledge in the community, sector expertise as well as access to our extensive mentors network puts us in a strong place to support start-ups. It’s not easy to start a business, or to commercialise a dream but the reward for us is seeing that business grow from a small fledgling today into a FTSE100 company tomorrow.”