The Santander Breakthrough programme
Breakthrough is a programme of funding, business support, events and consultancy which will help high-performing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) leap to the next level of sustainable growth. These businesses are vital to the creation of wealth and jobs, however, many SMEs find it difficult to secure funding and support.
The aim of Breakthrough is to identify a group of Growth Champions who can best use the programme's funding package and events to accelerate their growth to become the next generation of world-beating innovative companies. These are businesses that have advanced beyond the start-up stage and need the financing, resources and knowledgebase to work towards the next level.
Despite the essential role that high-growth SMEs play in the UK economy, conventional funding options - equity markets, private investment etc - often fail to meet their needs. Many equity markets are geared towards investment in large businesses with a long track record of proven returns and this means many SMEs have had to look at other options for funding in the past.
So a central component of the Breakthrough programme is the Growth Fund, which will see Santander invest £200 million in fast-growth SMEs over a period of four to five years. This money will help stimulate businesses and in the process create jobs and help kick-start private sector recovery.
The Growth Fund brings the appropriate type of mezzanine, non-equity financing to enable these businesses to continue their stand-out growth. It will focus on rapidly growing businesses with an annual turnover between £500,000 and £10 million and will help them grow even more quickly.
In addition to the Growth Fund, Breakthrough includes a comprehensive programme of relevant and practical business support experiences:
Breakthrough in action
Breakthrough was launched at a Live event in London on 1 December 2011. Five more Live events will take place around the UK before the end of April 2012, stimulating Growth Champions from all regions.
The Breakthrough Safari Tours are well under way with visits to Google, LoveFilm and BaxterStorey. Delegates have gained money-can't-buy access to senior executives at these companies to learn how they can apply hard-won lessons to their own businesses. The subjects covered so far have included cash flow, recruitment and managing scale. More Safari Tours are planned throughout 2012.
A trade mission to Brazil was run in November 2011 providing delegates - from industries as diverse as fashion and offshore oil and gas - with unique contacts and opportunities in this fast-growing and dynamic market.
Could you be a Growth Champion?
Do you think you've got what it takes to be a Growth Champion? Do you have a business with a turnover between £500,000 and £10 million and strong, demonstrable growth in turnover, profitability and/or employment over the last three years?
If the answers are 'yes', and you would like to be considered for the Breakthrough programme, please register your interest and your local Relationship Director will contact you for further discussion.
You can also find out more about Breakthrough, and sign up for our e-newsletter by visiting the Santander Breakthrough website