Finance · 26 June 2017

Social enterprises to benefit from renewed Santander fund partnership

The Santander Changemaker Fund has supported 33 projects so far
The Santander Changemaker Fund has supported 33 projects so far

High street lender Santander is renewing its partnership with Crowdfunder, a crowdfunding platform, with a second phase of funding for the Santander Changemaker Fund, its scheme for social enterprises and community-based projects in the UK.

The bank has allocated an additional £200,000 to the Santander fund following its successful pilot, which supported and promoted various projects around the country encouraging social change.

Project leaders and coordinators who meet the criteria of the Santander Changemaker Fund are able to submit their ideas for a social enterprise to the Crowdfunder platform, unlocking matched funding if their ideas receive backing from the crowd.

Eligible projects seeking up to £20,000, which focus on skills, training and innovation, and which gain the support of the crowd, will receive 50 per cent of their funding requirement from Santander, the bank has pledged.

The Santander fund is open to social enterprises, small charities and community groups throughout Britain that help disadvantaged people. As well as capital from the bank, successful projects can also expect to benefit from enterprise education and training from Crowdfunder.

Commenting on the partnership, Crowdfunder’s managing director, Phil Geraghty, said: “We hope to help innovative businesses make great things happen, and this additional funding contributes a great deal towards that aim and opens up powerful opportunities between the banking sector and the next generation of ‘changemakers’.

“We have seen an incredible interest in the fund on our platform and are thrilled to be able to continue the partnership with Santander.”

To date, the Santander fund has supported 33 different projects with almost £200,000. Successful enterprises have so far included Change Please, a London-based scheme training homeless people to be baristas, Curiosity Café, an enterprise improving the lives of dementia sufferers in Northumberland, and Chocolate Worx, a chocolatier employing disabled workers in Devon.

By partnering with Crowdfunder, the bank has said its Santander fund will give entrepreneurs and community groups the chance to tackle serious social challenges at the local level across the UK.

The Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, Sue Douthwaite, said: “We are delighted to announce we are continuing our partnership with Crowdfunder and hope the extra funding will make a difference to even more lives.

“At Santander, supporting the communities in which we operate is integral to our purpose to help people and businesses prosper. The Santander Changemaker Fund has helped bring some great ideas to life and enabled social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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