Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (“Santander Consumer” and “SC”) today announced that it has selected Dallas for the launch of Cultivate Small Business – a Santander US signature program that supports food-service entrepreneurs for women-, minority-, and immigrant-owned businesses in low- and moderate-income communities. Dallas-based nonprofit start-up accelerator Impact Ventures will serve as a corporate partner for the program with Santander Consumer. Impact Ventures manages an integrated capital fund focused on empowering talented women and communities of color, and will lead a grassroots effort to identify qualified small businesses to participate in the program and local food-industry experts to serve as mentors to program participants.
Launched by Santander Bank N.A. in 2017, Cultivate Small Business connects early-stage food-focused entrepreneurs with the key ingredients needed to succeed in business, including industry-specific business management skills, technical assistance, capital grants, and access to a local network of established industry experts. Cultivate Small Business’ immersive, 12-week learning experience combines MBA-level education with mentorship and capital grants to support entrepreneurs dedicated to working on their business while working in their business.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2019 just 18.7% (1.1 million) of U.S. employer businesses were minority-owned, and about 20.9% (1.2 million) of all businesses were owned by women. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many food-industry entrepreneurs with numerous businesses and restaurants closing their doors since the pandemic began. Food-industry entrepreneurs can benefit from the support of Santander’s Cultivate Small Business program.
Cultivate Small Business Grads Think the Program is Valuable
The majority of the more than 180 former Cultivate Small Business graduates indicate that the program has been valuable for their businesses:
84% of participants believe that the program will help them achieve their business goals
92% of participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the program overall
92% of participants feel that they can translate the learnings to their businesses
88% of participants would recommend the program to another entrepreneur.
Of the 32 businesses that participated in the 2020 cohort of Santander’s Cultivate Small Business, each received expedited capital grant funding from Santander Bank as soon as the economic shutdown was implemented, and all but one completed the year fully operational and in business.
Cultivate Small Business is an innovative and highly successful signature program for Santander in the US, and we are excited to bring this program to Dallas through the support of the SC Foundation. Food-related businesses – particularly those run by women and minorities in emerging communities – are the backbone of many of the neighborhoods that Santander Consumer serves. We are excited to work with Impact Ventures and the entrepreneurs who will join the program, and look forward to their future successes.
CEO of Santander Consumer USA
“We are thrilled to help support Santander’s Cultivate Small Business Program expansion by working with Santander Consumer in Dallas. The industry-specific education, mentorship, and technical assistance will help food entrepreneurs retool and scale after the setbacks from the pandemic. We are appreciative of our expanded relationship with the SC Foundation and are proud to be selected as the regional partner for the program,” said Benjamin Vann, Founder & CEO Impact Ventures.
The 12-week course is free to eligible entrepreneurs, completely virtual, and is accepting applications now thru June 15. Entrepreneurs that are accepted will graduate from the program with a fully formulated business plan and pitch in hand, a strong grasp of their target market, cash-flow, financials and growth goals, a will benefit from a financial coach and mentor relationship, and $2,500 in capital grants. Interested entrepreneurs can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or apply directly here: https://apply.yourcausegrants.com/apply/programs/951f4504-6724-4346-bfd0-772ae19e4d78