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How to leverage inclusivity,
without even saying you're doing it
Subtle, yet impactful, inclusivity

Newton's Theory


Growth through learning & collaboration  ...  sound business sense & inclusive

Learn, fail, learn, succeed ... grow ... repeat

Learning from others

A focus on enabling

Purpose-driven entrepreneurial motivations

Growth mindset phrases,

"Taking your business further, faster"

Emphasis on collaboration

When you know it’s the right thing, and want to know how.

In brief: language that talks in a growth mindset, of failing and succeeding, learning from others, enabling and collaboration; where the application process is open on the criteria, as well as acknowledges the 2-way choice and relationship; 3 accelerator routes, more yes outcomes; images without people, or of a broad base of entrepreneurs.

The Bristol Natwest Accelerator is a great example of how to be inclusive, without even saying it. When I met with Olly Reid at a Bristol Basecamp roundtable recently, and heard their accelerator cohort were 50/50 female and male, I was intrigued to learn more about their inclusive approach. A mix of web language and images, and culture setting by the team. Charly Patrick, Entrepreneur Development Manager, talked me through their inclusive accelerator culture.

Learn, fail, learn, succeed ... grow ... repeat

We know learning is vital, if we want our businesses to keep up with tech and market changes, to stay ahead of the competition, and grow. Failing, or finding out the ways that don't work, is part of finding the ways that do work. 

Learning from others, both accelerates your learning, and is inclusive by saying 'we don't expect you to come with all the answers'. As Charly puts it, "somebody is always 2 steps ahead or 2 steps behind, you can learn from their success and failures".

The accelerator has a focus on enabling, on "building the entrepreneur" through developing their skills to problem solve and grow their business. 

In the application meeting, there's an emphasis on collaboration. Entrepreneurs "contribute to the community" by problem solving as a group. 

Growth mindset phrases 'Taking your business further, faster'

Growth mindset phrases promote resilience, perseverance, recruit faster and more inclusively. Fixed mindset phrases such as “the best and brightest” see less applicants, are unappealing to both genders, deterring women to a higher degree 1. 

Growth orientated & wide range of support

Taps into entrepreneurs purpose-driven motivations. Illuminate Ventures found 70% of entrepreneurs are driven by 'wanting to bring their idea to market'. Purpose isn't small fry. Gaining funding can be seen as the end game, the 'win'. If this were the case, then investors wouldn't get a return. Purpose (and growth) motivations are what deliver investors their return.

All focused on developing key entrepreneurial skills, for externally aware customer-orientated innovation, that drives customer acquisition and revenue. Collaborative leadership that attracts the talent you want to recruit, (your ability to recruit a team is a highly ranked concern for investors, often underestimated by entrepreneurs 2).

Intentional ways to be inclusive, still without saying you're doing it

Open criteria

More than 1 option, not just a yes or no

... inclusive and retains your pipeline

Let your images reflect, that you understand, the real shape of entrepreneurship today

Acknowledge it's a 2-way choice

Open criteria

Open information and guidance on the criteria widens your pool of applicants, and is inclusive. Some people will know or assume they fit the criteria, others won't, by being open, you're covering both.

Acknowledge it's a two-way choice

The programme information acknowledges the two-way relationship, 'We want to make sure we can get the best out of you so that you can get the best out of us.'

More than 1 option, not just a yes or no ... inclusive and retains your pipeline 

Pre-accelerator, Accelerator, Fintech ... as in selling and negotiations, they know the power of giving people more than one 'yes' option. Its inclusive, and offers a route to retain contact with and develop, your pipeline of businesses. 

Let your images reflect, that you understand, the real shape of entrepreneurship today

Many of the entrepreneurs joining the Bristol accelerator are established businesses, seeking to answer the 'what's next' growth or exit questions. The current cohort is 50/50, female and male. 

Tips: Use images that represent a broad base of entrepreneurship. Or take gender out, by using images with no people or just text, is the tip Natwest Accelerator adopt.


Images on LinkedIn etc, send out the message of who you want to do business with. When we limit who we attract, we limit our own options too. A quote that fits perfectly here, "why limit yourself" by Jana Bakunina of Silvergate Investments.

Applying for the Natwest Accelerator

Interested in joining the accelerator programme, here's where to find out more:

Inclusive organisations, 2.3x higher cash flow per employee 3

Newton’s Theory is about commercial inclusive thinking.

Investors, founders, advisors, collectively, small steps, big changes.

Bringing ways investors and founders, can bridge the investment gap, to the benefit of both.

1  Illuminate Ventures white paper

2  Textio

​3   Predictions for 2017 Everything Is Becoming Digital (Bersin by Deloitte)

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