Santander Bank Celebrates National Small Business Week Donating Millions To Non-Profits From Harlem To Hollis

May 4, 2018

Santander Bank today announced the donation of nearly $1.1 million in grants to more than 16 mission-driven non-profit organizations throughout its footprint.

The grants support small business development and foster entrepreneurship in their communities in recognition of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) ‘National Small Business Week.’

“For the second year in a row, Santander has turned the SBA’s ‘National Small Business Week’ into a month-long celebration,” said Amir Madjlessi, Santander’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Business Banking. “Small businesses play a significant role in the economic well-being of our communities and there’s no better way to show them our respect this month and every month than by giving them our financial support and lending our time and expertise. In addition to donating to these exceptional organizations, Santander’s Business Banking team will be donating their personal time to provide financial education and mentoring to small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

These donations are a part of Santander Bank’s Charitable Contributions Program, which awards grants three times a year to programs serving low- to moderate-income business owners, individuals, families and communities. Non-profits receiving Santander grants in recognition and support of Small Business Week includes organizations Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (CH-SBDC), others can be viewed here.

Santander’s larger grant recipients include Boston-based CommonWealth Kitchen and Babson College, and New York City’s Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

CommonWealth Kitchen and Babson College are Santander’s strategic partners in the Bank’s Cultivate Small Business initiative. Launched in May 2017Cultivate Small Business helps early-stage entrepreneurs in Greater Boston’s low- and moderate-income neighborhoods build and sustain their businesses by providing industry-specific education, networks and mentoring as well as small capital grants for business owners. An innovative community-based food business accelerator, CommonWealth Kitchen is providing program participants with shared kitchen space and a continuum of business and technical assistance services along with access to industry-specific advice and support. Renowned for its central focus on entrepreneurship education, Babson College has developed a customized business education curriculum for Cultivate Small Business’ eight-month program that combines in-person business classes at the College’s downtown Boston campus with online sessions that participants can access remotely.

Santander’s donation to NFTE supports the organization’s Adopt-A-Class initiative, which NFTE estimates will reach and activate the entrepreneurial mindset of more than 11,100 students in 500 classes this year with impactful programming. NFTE provides schools and partners the opportunity to change the lives of young people through the transformative power of entrepreneurship. Its mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures.

Shawn Osborne, President and CEO of NFTE, commented, “Santander has been helping NFTE activate the entrepreneurial mindset of underserved youth for four years and we are proud to see this partnership continue to grow. We are incredibly grateful for the investment Santander has made in our program, both financially and through skills-based volunteerism, which is a critical piece to the student experience for their long-term success. Because of Santander’s commitment to NFTE, together, we are able to impact the lives of more students and start them on their entrepreneurial journey, preparing them to be career-ready and tomorrow’s innovators.”

Santander’s ‘Small Business Month’ also includes a series of activities dedicated to supporting small business owners and fostering small business growth, including:

  • Check presentations to donation recipients, including NFTE and the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (CH-SBDC). On Monday, April 30, Santander joined Columbia Business School (CBS) to present the CH-SBDC with a check for $256,500 to support training and developing entrepreneurs in New York City over the next three years. Santander awarded this funding to support the CH-SBDC’s programing and its efforts to launch a cross-collaborative project with CBS’s Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America Program to support global entrepreneurship.  The CH-SBDC is part of New York’s statewide SBDC network, which is funded in part by the SBA, providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with confidential counseling, training and research.
  • In-branch networking events for small business customers and prospects  between May 21 and May 25  at 160 branches where small business owners will have the opportunity to network with Santander’s Small Business Relationship Managers and each other, collaborate and discuss best practices aimed at helping small businesses succeed.

For more information on Santander Bank visit

Photo via source of consultant Lawrence King at the the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (CH-SBDC).

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