Partnering with social enterprise Cause4, Santander has launched its 2017 Breakthrough Women in Business Programme with the aim of supporting 30 entrepreneurs by matching them with successful female mentors who are running multi-million pound businesses.
The programme takes place over one year and has been developed to ensure that these prospective entrepreneurs receive the support they need to overcome the challenges of starting a new business.
Eligible applicants must be the majority shareholder of a business with an annual turnover of between £250,000 and £6m and have been trading for at least three years. They are to have between five and 40 employees and a business idea that is highly scalable as well as being capable of boosting local employment.
Networking events have already taken place in Exeter, Manchester and Glasgow over the last month with further events planned for Birmingham and London in November. Speakers will include: Justice Williams, MBE, Founder of Women Who, Stephanie Chamberlain, CEO and Founder of Magic Milestones and Michelle Wright, Founder and CEO of Cause4.
Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director, Santander Business, said: “We are delighted to be running the Breakthrough Women in Business Programme in partnership with Cause4. This dedicated initiative is one of the most comprehensive programmes of its type and offers real value to the selected entrepreneurs. The Women and Work Commission found that unleashing women’s full potential could be worth £23 billion a year to the Exchequer, but that only 4 per cent of women are engaged in entrepreneurial activity compared to 9 per cent of men, we are focused on addressing this shortfall.’’
Michelle Wright, Chief Executive of Cause4, said: “Female entrepreneurs are a vital part of the UK’s SME business community. This programme from Santander Breakthrough is of huge importance in bringing together female entrepreneurs across the country to share experiences and to learn from each other.”
The deadline for participant applications is 8 December 2016. Applicants will be notified by 23 December 2016 if they have been accepted onto the programme.
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