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More opportunities for small entrepreneurs. Photo: Pixabay.

Santander USA's Cultivate Small Business program allocated $300,000 in resources

The entrepreneurship initiative is aimed especially at the food industry.


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Santander Holdings USA Inc. recently announced the completion of the 6th cohort of its program for small entrepreneurs, which benefited 97 entrepreneurs in markets such as Dallas, Miami and Philadelphia.

Cultivate Small Business, which also operates in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, was launched by Santander Bank N.A. in 2017 with the goal of supporting early-stage entrepreneurs to build and sustain businesses in the food industry, with a focus on supporting women-owned, immigrant-owned, and BIPOC-owned businesses in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods.

Patrick Smith, head of Consumer and Business Banking for Santander U.S., stated:

Entrepreneurs create jobs and strengthen our communities. We are pleased that Cultivate Small Business is now supporting small business owners in three additional major markets, extending sustainable business initiatives in more parts of the country.

About Cultivate Small Business

The program, which is completely free to eligible entrepreneurs, offers an immersive 12-week learning experience at the MBA level, mentorship from industry experts, and financial grants.

By the end of this year, 360 companies are expected to have been supported by the initiative, which has distributed $1.2 million in free capital directly to entrepreneurs.

Santander’s partners for the most recent Cultivate cohort include Babson College, CommonWealth Kitchen, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Impact Ventures, and the small business development centers at Temple University and Florida International University.

About the beneficiaries

Entrepreneurs eligible for equity grants meet specific program goals, including attending classes, completing a business presentation, and submitting a final action plan with growth or sustainability milestones.

“Along with our program partners, we bring invaluable training, networking and capital to highly-driven entrepreneurs – many of whom who traditionally lack critical resources to take their businesses to the next level. We look forward to seeing their next chapters,” added Smith.

The 6th Cultivate Small Business cohort consisted of:

  • 88% BIPOC-owned businesses
  • 80% of business owners represent LMI communities
  • 67% women-owned businesses
  • Commercial years in operation: 1 - 16 years
  • Prior Year Revenue Range: $3,700 - $1.2 million

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