SMEs are a fundamental element of economic development, because of their weight within Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as the employment they generate. Santander has a global project to facilitate SME access to financial services and credit, new technologies, certified training and new international markets.
Some of the initiatives in this area are:
- In the United Kingdom, the Breakthrough programme launched in 2012 offers high value-added and alternative financing services for growing SMEs. The programme was created with the idea that funding alone is not enough to ensure orderly growth. A growing company arrives at a point where they must have new capabilities in areas such as financial management, control credit, marketing, sales and human resources. Besides financing, the programme provides British SMEs with tools to strengthen their growth, such as advice and learning through sharing experiences with other businesses.
- Santander Advance is another initiative aimed at making the Bank a strategic partner in the growth of SMEs. The programme offers a potent range of financial products and services, as well as a raft of other non-financial support measures and initiatives to help businesses become more international, boost job creation and strengthen and hone talent.
- Santander Passport is a specialised customer service model for companies with international presence. The Bank treats these businesses as preferential customers and offers them the same service across all the Group's subsidiaries.
- Santander Trade, the only portal of its kind in the financial system helping businesses expand overseas by opening up trading opportunities to the business community. The initiative has been launched in eleven countries so far: Brazil, Chile, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.