Episode 1: Natalie Isaac

Building a resilient business

How do you build a business which can withstand the type of shocks the economy has experienced over the past few years?

Hospitality is one industry bearing the full brunt of those challenges, from Covid lockdowns to a recruitment crunch, from soaring energy bills to a general cost of living crisis.

In this episode, Gemma chats with Natalie Isaac, Director of the 44 Group which owns renowned tapas bars, restaurants and now a hotel. Natalie discusses her journey from bringing a taste of Spain to south Wales, to coping with momentous decisions in the face of multiple crises - and how building good relationships, a strong team culture and support networks are key to business resilience.

Episode Topics

00:50: How 44 Group started and grew.

05:06: Being in business alongside her brothers, and being a woman in a male-dominated industry.

09:46: Structuring a partnership to play to strengths.

11:36: Coping with Covid lockdowns.

16:19: Pressures of a recruitment crisis, energy costs and rising inflation.

18:16: Building a team culture when times are tough.

23:46: Finding support as a business owner.

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As the UK's biggest bank for business, NatWest is committed to championing women's potential and to helping you start, scale and succeed.

As long-standing supporters of Women in Business, the bank understands the challenges women might face when setting up or running a business. NatWest has more than 1,000 Women in Business Accredited Specialists on hand to provide support, expertise and guidance.

The Rose Review

The Rose Review was launched in March 2019 by Alison Rose,  NatWest's CEO, at the request of the UK government. It sets out to identify the disparity between male and female entrepreneurs when starting and scaling businesses, and the barriers facing women.

This has resulted in 'unrealised potential' for the UK economy. Advancing female entrepreneurship represents a £250bn opportunity for the economy.

USW Exchange

USW Exchange is the front door for business engagement at the University of South Wales, connecting industry to academia to support a range of business challenges. 

Through our Developing Entrepreneurial Women programme with NatWest Cymru, we harness the skills and expertise from across the University to help bring greater gender diversity to the business sector in Wales. 

Contact USW Exchange: 

With USW Exchange hubs in both Pontypridd and Newport Campuses & a comprehensive virtual engagement offering, we're never far away. 


USW Exchange, 
University of South Wales, 
Llantwit Road, 
Pontypridd CF37 1DL  


USW Exchange, 
University of South Wales,
Usk Way, 
NP20 2BP