Many funders offer support and advice for start-up companies and young entrepreneurs, but Santander has launched a its own dedicated business incubator in the North West.
The incubator, located at Santander’s corporate banking office in Liverpool’s St Paul’s Square, can house as many as eight small firms at a time. Among the first wave of companies to benefit from this facility are Greenfinch Graduations, Interview People Online, and ADM Creative.
The incubator was officially launched in July 2014 during the International Festival for Business by Ana Botin, formerly Santander UK chief executive and now global chair.
Santander say they are the first UK bank to offer the space, facilities and guidance to help small firms grow. Santander do not take equity in the start-up organisations nor charge for the space on offer, this is free space which users can access for up to a year with direct access to a suite of business support services.
Simon Carrier, Santander’s regional director for Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales, has said that the incubator was about taking a different approach to engaging the SME market:
“It’s not just about finance, but about trying to build a proper relationship. I think the incubator is unique and it’s great that the first one is here.
“We want to create a community where ideas, experience and contacts are shared.”
Words: Peter Cribley