The social enterprise push will allow charities, philanthropic businesses and community groups to pitch ideas on Crowdfunder.co.uk. Companies can seek up to £20,000, and eligible enterprises will receive 50 per cent of funding, of up to £10,000, from Santander’s Changemaker fund.
The Changemaker fund itself is part of Santander’s community programme, The Discovery Project. It’s designed to provide people with inspiration and confidence, growing their skills and knowledge while supporting creativity.
“Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive, said Sue Douthwaite, MD of Santander Business Banking.
“With the power of the Crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”
This will be welcome news for many, as a study last year found that social entrepreneurs were demanding more recognition from consumers and investors – some 94 per cent felt their businesses should be recognised seriously as pathways to do good.
Crowdfunder and Santander have called the union a “revolutionary partnership”. The firms highlighted it will not only drive support for disadvantaged people nationwide, but also create a bond between alternative and traditional finance. The pair believe banks and crowdfunding platforms can create closer relationships in the future.
Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder, added: “The new partnership between Crowdfunder and Santander is a key milestone for the crowdfunding industry – opening up powerful networks and opportunities between the banking sector and the next generation of ’changemakers’.
“It also offers long term economic impacts by supporting social enterprises alongside the immediate benefits of helping people make their great ideas happen.”
In addition to providing funding to social enterprises to help the local communities, projects will receive education, enterprise and coaching support to help ideas flourish. Santander noted it intends to introduce further funding in 2017.
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