First launched in 2011, Santander's annual Entrepreneurship Awards have become one of the UK's largest student and graduate business pitching competitions. To date, they've supported hundreds of early-stage entrepreneurs and provided more than £750,000 in equity-free funding to start-ups and small businesses.
This year, the awards are going global. Win the Santander X UK Awards and you'll secure an automatic place in the Santander X Global Award, Santander's international university entrepreneurship competition.
There, you'll represent the UK and compete with entrepreneurs from countries across Europe and South America to win cash prizes and other benefits to take your business to the next level.
This year's programme has two categories: Launch (for new businesses) and Accelerate (for growing businesses). Scroll down the page to see the eligibility criteria for each category.
The application process will open Friday 2 September and close Friday 30 September. You can apply to the Santander X UK Awards Programme here. We recommend you use either Microsoft Edge or Safari as preferred browsers.
Enterprise Nation and Santander will select up to 60 start-ups in each category. We'll review applications on a rolling basis, so apply early to give yourself the best chance of being accepted.
If selected, you'll join an intensive six-week programme of in-person and online training. During these sessions, you'll receive expert advice on all areas of business, to prepare you for the upcoming pitching events. The training programme kicks off with an online event on 12 October. There will be an all-day in-person event in Birmingham on 25 October.
Once you've finished your training, you'll be invited to take part in a day-long pitching event, where you'll pitch your business in live quarter-final and semi-final heats.
Make it to the final 12 businesses (six per category) and you'll get the chance to pitch to a high-profile judging panel at the live national final in London in November.
The six winning businesses (three per category) from the Santander X UK Awards 2022 national final will automatically progress to the Santander X Global Award to compete against university start-ups from across Europe and Latin America.
Your business must be based in the UK and meet the following criteria (depending on which category you enter). (See Note below.)
Your business must:
Your business must:
Your business must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
Note: You can only apply for the programme once, even if you have a number of businesses and/or separate businesses which match the criteria for both Launch and Accelerate.
Successful participants and finalists will receive the following equity-free grants and prizes:
The top six per category will also receive a package of support including mentoring, free co-working space and software.
You must complete an application form on the Santander X platform.