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 cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support and since the competition's launch, we've given away more than £260,000 to entrepreneurs from across the UK. The awards are divided into the following categories: A winner and runner up for early stage businesses (Pre-revenue); a winner and runner up for more established businesses (Post-revenue); and the newly introduced People's Choice category.
The 2017 edition of the awards culminated in our Final on 5th October. Congratulations to winners Bella Moon and Jenny Evan's Designs. Bella Moon is a pre-revenue business from Queen's Belfast University which provides unique, multifunctional baby products. Jenny Evans Designs, run by an up and coming textile artist from Cardiff Metropolitan University, won in the post-revenue category. Both teams won prize money as well as access to a range of other prizes designed to support and help grow their business.
The runners up Bird Sunglasses from Plymouth University and The Sustainable Clothing Company from the University of Exeter also won £10,000 seed funding and access to other prizes.
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 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 www.attollolingerie.com
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 UniversitiesSME 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 2017 we have funding for over 3,000 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 talent.santander.co.uk to find out more.