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A few months ago, we decided that business banking should be better. So we started to build the business account we wished to see in the world – one that’s free, quick to set up and makes life easier for people taking the scenic route to success. The result was Starling for business.

Because building a business is tough. It takes a great idea, a nose for potential and an instinct for public appetite. It also takes determination. A stomach for risk. An aptitude for follow through. Mostly though, it just takes a lot of hard work.

That stuff – the hard work – isn’t something that we tend to see displayed on the public stage. Entrepreneurs are sort of like the proverbial swan; calm on the surface, paddling furiously below – you rarely see the tendons of the operation; the muscles working below the skin. Instead, we get to enjoy the the final cut; the slick success story, the tripled-in-a-year revenues, the high-profile investment rounds.

Extraordinary success is inspirational – which is why we’re all dazzled by it. It’s a moon to shoot for; it’s what every fledgling entrepreneur dares to dream of when they finally get that big bank loan approved for the first time. But as any entrepreneur who has found it is likely to tell you, somewhere between that first tremulous Mailchimp send and The Call from Forbes is the labour (and the love!) that’s weaved indelibly through the history of any successful enterprise, whether it goes on to become a huge corporation or remains a small or medium-sized business.

Like the lost orders. Investments pulled at the eleventh hour. The sleepless nights. The 18 hour work days. Our founder Anne built a brand new kind of bank from scratch with her own money, at a time when no-one else was doing it, and she certainly testifies to how much goes on behind the curtain when you’re striking out alone.

But most of us rarely get to see behind that curtain – and at Starling, we’d like that to change. We believe that encouraging honesty, conversation and community in the entrepreneurial landscape will ultimately allow ideas to thrive and small businesses to prosper – so to that end, we’re excited to share our new mini-series, Business Talks!

We’ve invited a cross-section of some of the UK’s most interesting entrepreneurs and founders to chat about the myths and realities of business ownership. In this series of candid conversations, they’ll cover everything from financing your business and knowing your worth to the value of mentorship and using social communities to leverage success – plus we’ll be exploring each topic in greater depth here over the next six weeks, too.

Whether you’re about to start a business, you’re already running one or you’re just a little curious, Business Talks is a sharp insight into modern business from the inside out. Here’s the lineup…

Finding Your Niche with Bola Awoniyi & Nafisa Bakkar

Nafisa Bakkar is the founder of fashion retailer and magazine Amaliah, which gives a voice to Muslim women.

Bola Awoniyi is the co-founder of Black Ballad, a British lifestyle platform that gives a voice to black British women.

Read the full post on finding your niche.

Funding Your business with Alex Depledge & Serena Guen

Alex Depledge is an entrepreneur and founded, the company she sold at 30 years old for £27 million.

Serena Guen is the founder of SUITCASE magazine, and has been described by Forbes as ‘the Zuckerberg of publishing’.

Read the full post on funding your business.

Getting your business started with Liv Little & Otegha Uwagba

Liv Little is editor-in-chief at gal-dem, the award winning magazine for women of colour she founded at university.

Otega Uwagba is founder of the Women Who and author of ‘Little Black Book’, and set up Women Who to support women in the creative industries.

Read the full post on getting your business started.

Mentorship with Nafisa Bakkar & Alex Depledge

Nafisa Bakkar is the founder of fashion retailer and magazine Amaliah, which gives a voice to Muslim women.

Alex Depledge founded, the company she sold at 30 years old for £27 million.

Read the full post on mentorship.

Using Online Communities with Daisy Buchanan & Dr Sue Black

Sue Black founded the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and is one of the leading tech personalities in the UK today.

Daisy Buchanan is the author of ‘How to be a Grown Up’, and writes about women, money and the arts for a variety of publications.

Read the full post on using social media to amplify your business.

Corporate Social Responsibility with Alex Holder & Nick Ede

Nick Ede is founder of East of Eden, a cause-led creative agency. He’s also a philanthropist for the Stroke Organisation and an investor.

Writer and creative director Alex Holder has written for titles including The Guardian and Grazia, and was previously content director at Elle.

Read the full post on Corporate Social Responsibility.

About Starling for business

First, we built a mobile personal account that saw Starling voted the Best British Bank in 2018, 2019 and 2020 – and now we’ve done the same for business. Starling for business is a free and straightforward business account that features intuitive money management tools and a speedy same day setup that takes minutes.

At the moment, Starling for business is built for small businesses with a limited company, but we’ll soon be expanding it for sole traders and partnerships – so watch this space!

Take a look at our business account offering.

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