The Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders' Mentoring Programme


Supporting women and entrepreneurship

We've run our Women Business Leaders' mentoring programme since 2019. This is a key part of our commitment to the Government's Investing in Women Code. The Code supports the advancement of female founders and business owners in the UK. It does this by improving access to tools, resources, and finance. Find out more about the Government's Investing in Women Code

About the programme

The programme is for the next generation of fast-growth ambitious female founders and business owners.

If you secure a place on the programme:

  • We'll match you with a suitable mentor. Our mentors come from a wide range of sectors and have a minimum of 5 years' leadership experience.
  • We'll help you think in different ways about your business. Your matched mentor will have the skills and experience to guide you through this.
  • You'll commit to meeting regularly with your mentor. With them, you'll decide on your business objectives and the help you need.
  • You'll be given the resources to make sure you get the most from the programme.
  • You'll be part of an active network of female founders.


The programme runs March through to November. During this time, you'll be expected to commit to a minimum of 30 hours of mentoring and learning.


Applications for the 2024 cohort closes 19 February.

What we look for in a mentee:

  • You're a female founder, owner, or majority shareholder of a business.
  • You're registered as a UK company.
  • You've been trading for a minimum of 18 months.

You’ll need to:

  • Be prepared to take responsibility for progressing your business.
  • Be open to receiving feedback and challenge from your mentor.
  • Be aware of your own strengths and areas for development.
  • Have a clear ambition to scale up your business. This could include increasing staffing, broadening your network and creating jobs.
  • Have not previously taken part in this programme as a mentee.

What we look for in a mentor:

  • Experience of having run or owned your own business.


  • A business leader with corporate experience. Knowledge of small to medium size businesses is also required.


We take on both female and male mentors. What's important is that you want to make a difference and support ambitious female business owners.

You’ll need to:

  • Understand how small and medium size businesses operate.
  • Be prepared to share perspectives based on your experiences.
  • Function as a positive role model.
  • Be committed, reliable and maintain discretion.
  • Have great listening skills and be easy to talk to.
  • Be comfortable completing initial mentor training.

We welcome applications from non-Santander business customers.

If you are interested in finding out more about our mentoring programme, you can register your interest here.