Financial readiness programme for women of colour


Supporting women of colour in business

We know that women of colour face additional challenges in business, and we’re committed to supporting female entrepreneurship by improving women’s access to the advice, resources and finance options needed to start and grow a business. 

That’s why we partnered with PRECIOUS – a digital platform, network and resource for women of colour led by Foluke Akinlose MBE – to research the challenges and achievements of female entrepreneurship and women business leaders from underrepresented groups.

You can read more about the outcomes of the research and our commitments to addressing the findings in our Supporting women of colour in business article.

Why did we launch these resources?

Financial Readiness is a business support programme for UK-based future or current businesses founded and/or led by women of colour. It’s fully funded by Santander and delivered in partnership with UpSkill Digital. Our aim is to support women of colour entrepreneurs in gaining the knowledge and confidence needed to thrive in their business journey.

The support available focuses on the following topics:

  • Access to finance can make a big difference to a business’s potential growth. We know this a particular problem for women of colour due to the difficulty in applying for finance and poor treatment by financial institutions. This means that external finance is often not even seen as an option.  We want to help build your knowledge and confidence in looking for, applying for, and managing business finance.
  • Financial education from early on in life has an impact on how individuals approach business decisions and assess financial risk. We know many women of colour don’t benefit from access to generational wealth and may not have a family history of investing and entrepreneurship. We want to demystify the language used around finance and give you the confidence to discuss business finance more openly.
  • Support at key life and business stages is key to overcoming challenges. Our female business owners told us that support for businesses is often targeted for start-ups and/or focussed on people under 30, so it wasn’t available when they needed it most. That’s why we designed this course for women who are already trading and are ready to take the next step.
  • Relatable role models and a network of trusted peers can be essential in giving you the confidence to make ambitious choices.  During a series of workshops you’ll be able to connect with women like you and hear the personal stories of other women’s experiences of business finance.

Who are these resources for?

This is for women of colour who have founded, or are currently leading, a small or medium sized enterprise in the UK. Ideally you will be looking for further support to scale your business. 

As the content is very focused on finance, businesses with a need for funding now or in the near future are likely to benefit most. 

Our online workshops run throughout the year, for more information on dates please follow the link below.

Financial readiness programme for women of colour | Santander Breakthrough

What we provide

Alongside side our on-demand resources, we’ve pulled together some online sessions where we’ll be sharing more information on business and finance. You can sign up for the sessions here.

For founders yet to raise finance

  • Unlock your business growth potential – We cover the importance of business plans, some challenges you may experience and how to overcome them and where to find support for growing your business. Throughout the session you’ll have the opportunity to engage in some discussions around increasing your confidence as a business owner, and how you can begin the journey to unlocking your business growth potential.
  • Applying for business finance – We take you through the process of applying for business funding, including the options available to you and how you can select the right one for your business. We also unpick the challenges in applying for business funding and where you can find the support to overcome them.
  • Fireside chat – This session is an opportunity for you to gather insights into business strategies from a guest speaker, who will talk about their experiences of growing their business and how they’ve overcome any challenges they faced.

For founders looking to manage their business finance

  • Championing financial wellbeing – This session focuses on financial wellbeing for women, in particular understanding your money mindset. You’ll also discover how to achieve your financial goals as well as gain knowledge on the financial skills that will help you thrive in business.
  • Managing everyday business finance – We explore the importance of good financial management along with top tips on how you can efficiently manage your business finances. You’ll also learn about the benefits of budgeting and tips on how to create an effective business budget.
  • Fireside chat – This session explores business finance in practice, and tackles the misconception of debt and how you can use it to help your business grow. We also look at the benefits of digital finance tools, and our guest speaker will be giving advice on how to gain confidence as a small business owner.


Who can use the resources?

To join our online workshops you need to:

Financial readiness programme for women of colour | Santander Breakthrough

Be the founder/co-founder or senior leader of your business.

Financial readiness programme for women of colour | Santander Breakthrough

Identify as a woman of colour.

Financial readiness programme for women of colour | Santander Breakthrough

Have an ambition to scale over the next 6-18 months.

Our online resources are openly available.

How to get involved

You can have a look at our resources at any time. If you want some extra help we'll be running our online sessions throughout the year, use the link below to sign up.

Financial readiness programme for women of colour | Santander Breakthrough