Santander Holdings USA, Inc. (“Santander US” or “Santander”) announced that it has been honored with a Community Collaboration Award from the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) for its partnership with CommonWealth Kitchen on Santander’s signature MBA-style education and training program, Cultivate Small Business, which allocates $600,000 a year in capital grant funding to women-, BIPOC- and immigrant-owned small businesses in the food industry.
The BBJ’s Community Collaboration Awards are an annual recognition of Massachusetts companies and nonprofits that demonstrate innovation and develop best practices in specific partnerships at multiple levels of engagement, including volunteer work, cash donations, in-kind donations and board participation.
“Entrepreneurs create jobs and strengthen our communities. Through Cultivate Small Business, Santander and its nonprofit partners, including CommonWealth Kitchen, are extending sustainable business initiatives in more parts of the country and bringing invaluable training, networking and capital to driven entrepreneurs.”
Head of Consumer & Business Banking at Santander Bank
Cultivate Small Business was created in 2017 to help early-stage food entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods build and sustain strong businesses and began with an inaugural group of 30 entrepreneurs from the Greater Boston area. The program has been offered each year since and by the end of 2023, will have served 540 businesses and distributed $1.8M in untethered capital grants directly to entrepreneurs across seven markets: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Miami.
“At CommonWealth Kitchen, we believe in the power of inclusive entrepreneurship to change the world. Santander shares our passion for supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs with the essential education and support they need to fuel their future,” said Jen Faigel, Executive Director of CommonWealth Kitchen. “We’re extremely proud of this partnership and our involvement in Cultivate Small Business.”
Additionally, Santander US has been named to the BBJ’s annual list of the most charitable companies in Massachusetts. Together, these companies have given a combined $423 million in cash contributions to nonprofit organizations last year.
“We are honored to be recognized for our longstanding commitments and contributions to help communities prosper – a core element of Santander’s purpose,” added Smith. “We’re especially grateful to all of our team members and community partners for their vital contributions. When we team up to help our communities, we can create a lasting impact.”
These acknowledgements follow the recent unveiling of the latest Santander US Community Plan, a three-year commitment of $4.6 billion in community reinvestment and $9 billion in sustainable finance, on behalf of Santander’s businesses across the United States. The plan highlights the company’s broad commitments for community development for affordable housing, small business, and supplier diversity, as well as $100 million in charitable giving and 100,000 employee volunteer hours.