Santander logoSantander Entrepreneurship Awards 2018

Your chance to win up to £25,000 for your business!

Do you have a great business idea? Recently started a new business that could use some guidance and extra cash? Then don't miss your chance to win one of Santander’s Entrepreneurship Awards. If you think you've got an idea or business that can compete with the UK's best then we want to hear from you. 

The Santander Entrepreneurship Awards were launched in 2011. Since then it has grown to be the UK's largest student and graduate business pitching competition, rewarding entrepreneurs by offering cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support. So far is has given out more than £260,000 to start-ups and small businesses.

The categories

This year participants can take part in one of the following two categories:

Technology business
Defined as a business or idea with hardware and/or software central to the business value proposition.

Non-technology business
Defined as a business or idea that has a value proposition that is not primarily based around hardware and/or software.

The prizes

The two winning businesses will receive:
£25,000 of equity-free seed funding
Mentoring from business experts
Access to the accelerator week
A fully funded intern
A £500 digital growth voucher from Talent Cupboard

The two runners up will receive:
£15,000 of equity-free seed funding
Mentoring from business experts
Access to the accelerator week
A fully funded intern
£500 digital growth voucher from Talent Cupboard

Submitting your business idea

The University is now running an internal competition to choose the best business ideas and start-ups to enter into the competition. The deadline for submissions of entries is 9.00pm on Sunday 25 March 2018. Please email Lynsey Dawson via email to with your entry.

You will need to submit a two minute video outlining the idea behind the business and how it came about as well as a completed business model canvas. 

For further information on the application process, and what to include in your video and business model canvas click here or email A copy of the business model canvas you will need to submit can be found here


To help support you in developing your business idea a Hackathon is being held on the Colchester Campus on 28 February from 1.00 - 5.00pm

The Hackathon will look at idea generation, the business model canvas and how to crete a short video about your business idea.

Please book via CareerHub at:

Eligibility criteria

- All applicants must be students or alumni who have officially graduated within 2 years of the date of submission from a Santander UK partner university.

- Applicants can be individuals or groups. There is no limit to a group size but any pitching at events is limited to 2 people.

- Throughout the process applicants must be legally residing in the UK.

- All applicants must be at least 18 years old.

- All businesses taking part in the competition must be registered UK companies.

- Applications that are currently in the idea stage must have the intention of creating a UK registered company.

- Students or alumni must own a material share in hte business and be responsible for the direction and leadership of the organisation. This would normally include holding the title of CEO, Founder or Co-Founder.