Events, competitions and initiatives

Read more about our latest events and initiatives below.

impact awards

3,000 Black and Black Mixed undergraduate students and recent graduates from all UK universities will have the opportunity to complete an 8-hour online course provided by Finance Unlocked. This will cover a range of concepts including green finance, block chain, private equity, financial crises, and many more. Participants will be able to enhance their financial skills through videos and access to real-life case studies.

Upon completion of the content and online quizzes, students with an average score (across all online quizzes) of 80% or above will have the opportunity to win a £1,500 Santander Scholarship. 30 of these students will be randomly selected using an online random winner selection platform.

Students and recent graduates will receive a digital certificate upon completion of the course and quizzes to celebrate their participation in the programme.

If you are interested and would like to apply, please visit the application page here. Applications are open from 10 January 2021 until 5 March 2021.

Terms and conditions apply (208 KB)

By working together, we aim to improve employment outcomes for autistic students and graduates through paid internships, while also enabling more SMEs to benefit from the diverse set of skills autistic students have to offer.

We’re looking forward to working with Ambitious About Autism alongside 17 of our partner universities in the UK who are supporting this pioneering new programme.

To find out more, search for #SantanderUniEmployAutism on our respective social media channels. Please also direct any queries to either or

As part of our sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, we will be organising a football-themed thought leadership event for female footballers and students from a BAME background. It will focus on honing critical skills such as confidence, resilience and leadership, whilst discussing how we can tackle discrimination both in and out of the sporting world.

The objective is to deliver a transformative event experience, whilst providing students with the key employability skills and learnings that they will need to succeed at university and in the world of work.

Since 2011, it has grown to be one of the UK's largest student and graduate business pitching competitions. We reward entrepreneurs by offering cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support and have so far given away more than £500,000 to start-ups and small businesses. 2020 marks the 10th year of the competition and to celebrate we ran the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme, a programme of dedicated support for over 80 student or graduate start-ups from across our partner university network. We delivered the programme entirely online through a series of expert-led online workshops and webinars covering a range of topics under four key themes – Money, Management, Marketing and Motivation.  

The programme ran for five months from May to September, and alongside panel discussions and workshops, coaching and peer-to-peer learning, the sessions also focused on responding to key challenges and goals for start-ups during the current coronavirus crisis. The entrepreneurs benefited from topics such as funding and finance, building a sustainable business growing your brand on a budget, building your business during a recession, and pitching to investors.  

Between 21 and 23 September, the entrepreneurs put their new skills to the test in the gruelling semi-final stage of the competition, where they pitched against each other to a panel of judges, to be in with a chance of being selected as of the 8 finalist businesses to progress through to the final stage.   

The programme culminated in a National Final on 29 September where the 8 finalist businesses pitched for their chance to win £30,000 each, and a fully funded intern from Santander. Konglomerate Games from Abertay University, and Torann from Queen’s University Belfast were selected as the two winners from the eight finalists following a challenging judging process from our panels which were led by Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK plc and Susan Allen, CEO Retail and Business Banking at Santander UK plc. Alongside Nathan and Susan, judges also included Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur and TV Dragon; Prue Leith, Chancellor, Queen Margaret University; Warwick Hill, business executive and entrepreneur; and Julie Devonshire OBE, Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute, King’s College London.  

Throughout September, 17 of the businesses in the Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme also participated in the Crowdfunding Challenge where they competed to drive engagement in their businesses through pledges, likes, and shares.  

University of Bristol student Alfie Laurence won the challenge with his business Student Travel Tips, having received the most engagement on the Crowdfunder platform. As a result of his win, he received £6,000 from Santander, as well as the impressive £11,451 he raised during the challenge. 

Find out more about our two winning businesses:  

Konglomerate Games, Abertay University  

Konglomerate Games is a Dundee based video games company which specialises in developing healthcare games to improve lives. Their game, Archipelayo, is designed to be used as physiotherapy for children with Cystic Fibrosis. The game also measures patients’ adherence to treatment through analytics and has been designed to encourage the correct techniques to combat the disease’s progression. They aim to gamify physiotherapy routines to increase adherence for children aged 6-16. The game is currently being used in a clinical trial throughout the UK, primarily at Great Ormond Street Hospital.  

Jamie Bankhead said: “We are so pleased to have won the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. It was such a fantastic competition and the prize will enable us to focus on developing our game designed for children with cystic fibrosis. The Emerging Entrepreneurs programme has enabled us to build our network with such fantastic people which will really help us in the long run.”  

Torann, Queen’s University Belfast 

Signal Optimiser ‘Torann’ (the Irish word for ‘noise’) is the unique and award-winning solution to the historic problem of loss of sound quality encountered by millions of musicians playing amplified instruments across the globe. Signal Optimiser is a fully compatible plug and play device, positioned between the instrument and amplifier which continuously provides 100% sound quality.  

Lewis Loane said: “The support from the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme has allowed us to sharpen our business model and strengthen our commercialisation plan. Winning the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is absolutely incredible and will provide us with the critical resources to accelerate our business and capture the global opportunity.” 

To find out more about the 2021 competition, and how to get involved, please contact your University enterprise team directly. #santanderstartup  

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We recognise the challenges currently facing the UK’s engineering industry, in particular the challenges faced by female engineering students, which is why we have created a programme of dedicated support for female engineers, with the objective of providing the students with the tools and resources that they will need to succeed after university. We'll do this by providing thought leadership and networking opportunities with industry experts and motivational figures, and a world-class industrial experience at a leading engineering organisation for the 30 STEMship winners.


Take a look at our information pack (422 KB) to learn more about the STEMships and the awards.

We ask each of our partner universities to submit one candidate for each area, with submissions backed up by a video from each student.

The winners are announced at the awards ceremony later in the year.

We'll be uploading an information pack in due course, which will include further details and key dates.