Breakthrough and Cause4 partnership boosts social causes

Santander partners with Cause4 to promote social enterprise.

Santander actively works with a number of partners in order to reach out to small businesses, other sectors, and community groups and incentives in new and innovative ways. These include Funding Circle – an online finance provider that works with small businesses – and a growing number of universities, such as Cambridge and Bath Spa.

Embracing social causes

The latest initiative is a new partnership with Cause4, a social enterprise that supports charities, social enterprises and philanthropists in development and fundraising, both nationally and internationally. Through the pairing, Santander will increase its involvement in social causes with an entrepreneurial flavour and, as part of this drive, three major components will launch in the New Year:


  •      Women in Breakthrough
  •      Social Enterprise Breakthrough Network
  •      Encouraging Responsible Business

Each element will target specific parts of the UK economy where positive change is needed. Santander and Cause4 have carefully crafted a programme of events, seminars, mentoring and funding that will identify the main points in each area and will provide a platform to the people who are ready to make a difference.

“Our goal in this partnership is to encourage entrepreneurs to grow and to show them they are not alone. It is part of our wider pledge to provide a comprehensive package of services to UK entrepreneurs and fast-growth businesses,” says Marie Woodcock, Head of Breakthrough Partnerships.

“We are committed to encouraging entrepreneurs in all aspects of their businesses and supporting projects that benefit the UK generally. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to building a strong relationship with Cause4.”

Delivering social projects

Michelle Wright, Chief Executive of Cause4, says, “We have a strong track record of helping organisations deliver social projects and have raised more than £36 million for charities since we started five years ago, reaching some 45,000 beneficiaries.

“This partnership with Santander is a huge step forward for our social enterprise and we are looking forward to Santander’s support for important causes in boosting areas such as women in business and responsible business practices.”

The three main strands of the partnership between Breakthrough and Cause4 have been shaped to make the greatest possible impact in their respective parts of the UK economy.

Women in Breakthrough

Women in Breakthrough will train 20 successful fast-growth female entrepreneurs to become mentors. This group will then establish a mentoring programme to target businesses that have successfully launched and are looking towards their next growth phase. Peer-to-peer learning is a proven way to inspire new generations of businesspeople and equip them with the knowledge they need to become successful.

Santander will fund the mentor training and arrange seminars, discussion groups, media activity and peer support through membership of the Santander Breakthrough Mentors group. Project managers at Cause4 will provide the administrative support and outline the expectations of the mentors and mentees at the beginning of the programme. 

“This partnership with Santander is a huge step forward for our social enterprise and we are looking forward to Santander’s support for important causes in boosting areas such as women in business and responsible business practices.” Michelle Wright, Chief Executive, Cause4

As well as a one-hour face-to-face meeting with their mentor every six weeks, entrepreneurs enrolled on the programme can also attend Women in Breakthrough networking events across the UK. These events will focus on specific issues that face women-led businesses, as well as offering invaluable networking opportunities. The mentoring programme will launch in London in early February.

Social Enterprise Breakthrough Network

The Social Enterprise Network aims to support a group of fast-growth social enterprises in the UK that are ambitious to scale and that are interested in trading internationally. The programme will also include a seminar programme and networking events. The seminar programme will provide 20 social enterprises with four one-day seminars over the course of 12 months, which will cover growth, scaling-up, income generation and international trading.

The seminars will be delivered by business leaders and experts in the field, and the 20 businesses will also have access to other aspects of the Breakthrough programme. Seminars will be complemented by three networking events that will be held across the UK to create ties between social enterprises. The events will feature successful entrepreneurs hosting discussion panels and Q&A sessions, and delegates will also have ample opportunity to network.

Encouraging responsible business

The responsible business seminar programme will give entrepreneurs a series of opportunities to learn how they can develop a more ethical strategy, with a specific focus on creating a positive impact on the bottom line through social channels. Some 50 businesses will take part in two half-day seminars offering advice to small and emerging companies about integrating responsible practice into their business models to increase turnover and profit.

The 12-month initiative of mentoring and events will see SMEs guided through the steps that will enable responsible business and encourage ethical entrepreneurship, in turn supporting these enterprises to grow and scale.


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