Ameenah Begum from the University of Sussex is one of over 80 budding entrepreneurs participating in the Santander X Entrepreneurship Awards 2021 and is in with a chance of receiving up to £75,000 of business development support at the National Final, due to take place at Wembley Stadium in London on 6 October 2021.
Ameenah who runs Planet Friendly Paint, joined other budding entrepreneurs from Santander partner universities from across the UK on a five-month virtual business acceleration programme dedicated to help innovative student and graduate businesses to scale. The programme included online sessions led by innovative entrepreneurs and experts on topics such as: building your brand; future-proofing your business; funding and finance; and wellbeing and resilience, as well as 1:1 coaching and business mentoring.
In October, all the entrepreneurs will pitch at Wembley for one of five places in the final. The five finalists will pitch live to a panel of judges which will include Santander UK Chief Executive Nathan Bostock and former Olympian and entrepreneur Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. The final will be hosted by Seema Jaswal, professional sports host and journalist.
One winning business will receive £50,000 of seed funding and £25,000 worth of additional business support. The runner up will receive £25,000 of seed funding and £25,000 worth of additional business support.
Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: “It’s fantastic to celebrate over a decade of supporting entrepreneurship with our Santander X Entrepreneurship Awards. It has been an exceptionally tough time for many start-ups and small businesses, so we’re delighted to have tailored this year’s programme of support to help innovative student and graduate businesses to scale, as part of our broader commitment to fostering entrepreneurship among university students. I look forward to meeting all of the entrepreneurs at Wembley in October and wish them the very best of luck in the competition.”
Since the competition launched in 2011, Santander Universities has awarded more than £600,000 in support of student start-ups across the UK and given universities the chance to showcase entrepreneurial talent from across the country. Overall, Santander Universities has provided over £2.5m of funding each year to support entrepreneurship at its 85 UK university partners.
Last year’s winners were Konglomerate Games, a video games company which specialises in developing healthcare games to improve lives, from Abertay University and Torann, which has developed a unique device to provide 100% sound quality for musicians playing amplified instruments across the globe, from Queen’s University Belfast.