Santander opens £2m grant fund to help charities to grow

The bank's Social Enterprise Development Awards scheme is open to organisations that provide training or employment opportunities, or tackle social exclusion or environmental issues


The banking group Santander has opened a £2m grant fund that will offer small grants to charities and social enterprises that want to grow.

The bank’s Social Enterprise Development Awards scheme, which is in its fifth year, provides grants of £5,000 or £10,000 to social enterprises and charities that work for the benefit of their communities.

The awards are open to organisations that provide training or employment opportunities, or tackle social exclusion or environmental issues.

Winners are selected on the strength of their business plans.

The awards are split into two categories – the Enterprising Charities Growth Award and the Social Ventures Catalyst Award. Each has an allocation of money worth £5,000 or £10,000.

The Enterprising Charities Growth Award is available to charities and community groups that want to increase their trading; the Social Ventures Catalyst Award is available to social enterprises and community interest companies that are aiming to grow their business.

To qualify for an award, an organisation must have been trading for a year, with a minimum turnover of £25,000 for the £5,000 award and £75,000 for the £10,000 award.

The winners of the funds will have a year to spend the money and must report their progress to Santander. A total of 316 social ventures have been awarded more than £5m since 2011.

Steve Pateman, head of UK banking at Santander, said: "The Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards are designed to offer support for social ventures looking to grow. The winning social enterprises not only get the benefit of the funding, but will also receive a business support package from Santander that includes business webinar presentations, fully funded internships, consultancy days and the opportunity to network with other social entrepreneurs and small business owners."

The closing date for entries is 10 April. The successful applicants will be announced in June.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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