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Supporting the UK’s extraordinary small businesses

As nationwide efforts to back UK businesses through the current economic disruption continue, NatWest has awarded three small enterprise competition winners a unique package of business support and media collaboration.

Last updated: 18 Mar 2021 4 min read

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Loop Loop founder Sophie Bresnahan creates plantable greetings cards.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread economic uncertainty, and NatWest remains committed to supporting the thousands of UK businesses that need guidance on surviving its immediate impact, as well as those that are ready to get moving again and those that have already accelerated into growth.

The UK’s extraordinary small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, crucially linked to job creation, innovation and helping the nation prosper. And we love to shout about their achievements. To help support SMEs, NatWest partnered with ITV and top creative agency Pablo in a competition to provide three lucky businesses with a professionally filmed and produced TV advert, as well as tailored airtime, worth over £150,000 each.

“We received over 700 entries from small businesses across the UK,” says Margaret Jobling, the bank’s chief marketing officer. “Every entrant had a brilliant story to tell about why their business was extraordinary, and we saw a real breadth of sectors and industries taking part. Arriving at our three winners was a really tough process. But we’re so excited to partner with these businesses to create impactful adverts that will help their brands thrive, and we’d like to congratulate Loop Loop, Sisterhood and The Little Loop on their success.”

“It was remarkable how many examples of truly extraordinary businesses there were out there that wanted to be part of this project, and we have three incredible winners” Gareth Mercer, CEO, Pablo

Kicking off the competition was Padstow-based family confectionery business Buttermilk run by husband-and-wife team David Goad and Tracy McGoad, who worked with Pablo to create a dynamic advert on the streets of Cornwall.

Following in their footsteps are our three competition winners:

Loop Loop

In response to the declining bee population and the plastic pollution challenge, Sophie Bresnahan started Loop Loop to create plantable greetings cards. Embedded with wildflower seeds, once the card has been enjoyed it can be planted and live on. Read Loop Loop’s story here.


Sisterhood is a creative design programme that seeks to build confidence and self-esteem in girls aged 13 to 17. It aims to help them to realise their full potential so that they can become the leaders, creators and change-makers of tomorrow. Read Sisterhood’s story here.


The UK’s first rental marketplace for kids clothing, thelittleloop was started by Charlotte Morley to help solve the challenge of textile waste and encourage consumers as well as fashion brands to think about their resources in a different way. Read thelittleloop’s story here.

“It was remarkable how many examples of truly extraordinary businesses there were out there that wanted to be part of this project, and we have three incredible winners,” says Gareth Mercer, CEO of Pablo. “We will be bringing to life the illustrated characters of Loop Loop to let their wildflower greetings cards tell their own amazing story.

“We are showing how Sisterhood are there for young women during a key point in life by exploring a moment of deep honesty and emotion between a mother and daughter.

“And we will be creating something magical that highlights both the environmental importance of thelittleloop and their clothing rental service, while also making us think about fast fashion as a whole. We hope that the resulting adverts will be powerful tools in helping these businesses thrive.”

Mark Trinder, ITV’s director of commercial sales and partnerships, adds: “TV advertising has an unrivalled impact on businesses, so we’re really proud to be able to provide a package of free airtime on the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster to these creative and standout winners as part of our Backing Business partnership with NatWest. It’s been a tough year for small businesses, and ITV is committed to helping them recover and grow.”

Please note: the competition has now closed.

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