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Santander Universities supporting entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Support


The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Since 2011, Santander has held an annual business pitching competition called the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. These awards are aimed at giving a financial boost to student and graduate business ventures in their early stages from our UK partner universities.

Participants can win a range of prizes including seed funding, mentoring and start-up support. Since the competition's launch, we've given away more than £340,000 to entrepreneurs from across the UK.

In 2018 we are dividing the competition into the following categories:

  • Technology businesses – entries should have hardware and/or software central to the businesses value proposition

  • Non-technology businesses – entries should have a value proposition that is not primarily based around hardware and/or software 

The 2018 edition of the awards is now live, with businesses competing for a share of the £90,000 prize money as well as access to a range of other prizes designed to support and help grow their business.

Enterprise Support

The awards are not the only way in which Santander supports entrepreneurs. We also fund individual university initiatives and many of these winners have now launched their business ventures into the market. Examples of these can be found below:

Attollo Lingerie


“Attollo Lingerie is a D+ lingerie brand, designed by D+, for D+ women to solve the problem of lacklustre, utilitarian and boring D+ lingerie that was previously available, by making beautiful, uplifting and stylish lingerie in sizes 28-34 D-GG. Taking part in the awards helped give us credibility at an early stage, which boosted suppliers, investors and retailers confidence in our ability as business women and also the sustainability of our business. “

Find out more at

Oppo ice cream


Oppo and Santander got first linked when Charlie Thuillier, a Social Policy graduate at the University of York, was awarded the top £2,000 prize for his idea of a healthy ice-cream, dairy and sugar free made from natural ingredients. The money allowed brothers Charlie and Harry to continue with their business venture.

Today Oppo is on the shelves of Waitrose and Holland and Barrett among other large retailers and even tennis champion Andy Murray has invested in the business.

The company continues to go from strength to strength and they have recently hired a new member of the team through the Santander Universities Internship programme.

The Santander Universities SME Internship programme

Launched in 2012, the programme provides funding to support students and graduates from our partner universities and helps them gain valuable work experience in small and medium sized businesses. Since its launch the programme has placed more than 9000 students and graduates in internships.

In 2018 we have funding for over 1,600 internships across our partner network. Whether you're a business looking to hire an intern, or a student or graduate hoping to get your foot on the career ladder, we could help you. Please visit to find out more.