NatWest To Sponsor New Small Business Series on CNBC

London, 21 September 2012 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced that NatWest will sponsor the network’s new small business series, The Business Class hosted by entrepreneur and investor James Caan.

The high street bank will associate with the new seven part series which aims to help small and medium sized businesses grow and prosper. The series is hosted by James Caan, who will be joined by experts from a cross section of industries, as they look at the challenges and opportunities faced by six UK businesses. The featured businesses are at different stages in their lifecycle, from start-up to those looking to raise finance, expand internationally and finally considering flotation or selling their business.

NatWest will benefit from branded bumpers at the beginning and end of the programme, using the strapline ‘Ahead for Business’. CNBC’s Creative Solutions team will also produce a number of branded vignettes featuring segments from each programme and others that feature interviews with NatWest small business executives, which will air in commercial airtime in rotation with NatWest spot ads.

NatWest ads will also appear on-line at and on the series’ dedicated website, which will launch at the beginning of October.

The terms of the sponsorship were undisclosed and was brokered directly with NatWest.

Justin Davison, Director Ad Sales at CNBC commented, “The Business Class provides NatWest with an ideal platform to associate itself with practical and informative content relevant to the SME market. It also enables NatWest to raise awareness of the activities it is doing to support SMEs to CNBC’s influential and affluent audience across all business sizes.”

Peter Ibbetson, Chairman Small Business, NatWest said: “We need to do all we can to promote the culture of enterprise in the UK. As we face a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, it’s even more important we find new ways to provide practical advice to help businesses progress. “

The Business Class will discuss the key issues facing today’s SMEs, the resources available to them and what is needed to become successful. Each 30 minute episode will feature an innovative business which is seeking guidance to help it grow in today’s market place. With James Caan’s impressive track record of creating and managing successful companies, he uses his first-hand experience to discuss the challenges and offer advice with the guest experts, each providing their own candid insight and growth strategy. The series will be filmed on location and in the studio, where CNBC will track how the CEOs react to the advice.

“Lots of people think about becoming an entrepreneur and starting their own business,” says James Caan. “This series will take a look at real businesses and help them navigate their way to greater success. I’m delighted to be part of a fresh new series which will not only look at the real issues facing small businesses today, but will give sound and relevant advice for all business – whatever their life stage.”

The Business Class debuts on 17 October at 10.00pm and will repeat at the weekend at 9.30pm (UK time). CNBC can be seen on Sky channel 505, Virgin 613 and Freesat 210.

The first episode will feature LUX FIX, a members-only online fashion boutique which provides customers with exclusive discounts on a selection of current-season collections from the most exciting young and established British designers including Hannah Martin and Theo Fennell. The company was founded in 2011 by ex-Goldman Sachs analyst Alice Hastings-Bass and her childhood friend, digital marketing professional Rebecca Glenapp.

Companies featured in other episodes will include:

  • Kwickscreen – the manufacturer of portable, retractable, room dividers, based in in Battersea and with a factory in Corby
  • Imagematch Social Enterprise – based in Shrewsbury, an innovative training company working with young unemployed people to support them in the transition to permanent employment
  • Shutl – a branded web service company based in Shoreditch, enabling immediate and convenient delivery of online shopping
  • BrewDog – a craft brewer based in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
  • Ovo Energy – a gas and electricity supplier based in Kemble, near Cirencester.

Follow the show on Twitter at #CNBCBizClass.

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