Close to 300 startups and scaleups from [X] countries signed up to Santander X to take part in Santander X Global Challenge | Finance For All.
The winners will get a share of 120,000 euros and become part of Santander X 100, a global community of Santander X’s best startups and scaleups.
Madrid, 15 December 2021.
Santander X Global Challenge | Finance For All, launched by Banco Santander (through Santander X) and Oxentia Foundation, has announced its six winners: three startups and three scaleups among 300 entries from 11 countries.
They stood out for their innovative solutions, social impact and growth potential, guaranteeing access to banking services for everyone and, therefore, reducing inequality through financial inclusion.
The winners in the Startup category were SympliFi (UK), which enables migrants to help their unbanked relatives get credit in their home country; Mosabi (US), a business e-learning platform to boost financial health; and Lana (Spain), an app that helps gig workers manage their finances better.
The winners in the Scaleup category were True Link Financial (US), a platform that helps people protect their family members from unwanted transactions; Bankuish (US), which simplifies access to pre-approved loans for sole traders and freelancers; and Coinscrap Finance (Spain), which enables banks and insurers to get to know their customers better and develop new revenue streams.
The six winners will get a share of 120,000 euros: 10,000 for each startup and 30,000 for each scaleup.
They will also get membership to Santander X 100, Santander X’s new global community of entrepreneurs that brings together the best projects from the bank’s challenges and awards that promote innovation as a driver of productivity, economic growth and employment, as well as helping entrepreneurs get advice, training, capital, clientèle, talent, and other valuable resources. Three other projects, which received an honorary mention from the panel, will also become part of Santander X 100. They were startups Millas para el Retiro (Mexico) and Silver Bills (US), and scaleup Fintuity (UK).
The challenge looked for three things: Finance for Youth, solutions that offer better financial products and opportunities to young people; Finance for Elderly, projects that make retirees’ experience with digital banking services more transparent, fluid and personal; and Finance for Unbanked, initiatives that give people outside the financial system access to banking products.
According to Blanca Sagastume, global deputy head of Santander Universities, “Supporting innovation is a way of fostering productivity, employment and sustainable economic growth. That’s why this year alone, nearly 1,500 startups and scaleups participated in our challenges and awards and 34 have been crowned winners, with six more today. With this victory, they not only receive a cash prize, but also access to Santander X 100, our new global community recently launched to support the growth of promising companies”.
According to Oxentia Foundation CEO Steve Cleverley, “It’s a pleasure to have worked together with Santander X to deliver their Global Challenge | Finance for All. The quality of the applications we received was impressive, highlighting the outstanding work innovators across the world are doing to improve financial inclusion. Reducing inequality is at the heart of the Oxentia Foundation mission and we look forward to continuing to support the winners in their endeavours. We hope their involvement in this Global Challenge gives them the support, both financial and strategic, to deliver impact on a global level.”
A panel of international investors, experts in entrepreneurship and innovation and Santander directors ran the rule over the entries before choosing 20 finalists.
This latest challenge is just one of several initiatives Banco Santander is running to mark 25 years of support for higher education, employment and entrepreneurship. To date, the bank has helped over 630,000 students, professionals, startups and SMEs with an investment of more than 2 billion euros and agreements with 1,000+ universities in 11 countries.
Santander’s commitment to financial inclusion
Financial inclusion is a cornerstone of Banco Santander’s responsible banking strategy and mission of financial empowerment. Just last year, amid an economic downturn, it helped 3.5 million people (especially vulnerable groups) get basic financial services, obtain personalized financing and learn essential financial concepts. Recently named “Best Bank in the World for Financial Inclusion” by Euromoney Magazine, the bank aims to get 10 million people financially empowered between 2019 and 2025. So far, it’s accomplished 60% of that goal.
Furthermore, Santander has international partnerships to promote financial inclusion where it operates. In 2020, together with the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP), it made inroads on initiatives with great potential to expand at-scale access to financial services.
Oxentia Foundation and its commitment to innovation and global entrepreneurship
The Oxentia Foundation was created to support Oxentia’s goal to address global inequalities through innovation and entrepreneurship. Globally, Oxentia has designed, developed and run awards, competitions and programmes supporting early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to promote the commercialization of science and technology based-innovation projects that impact the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Oxentia was born out of the University of Oxford’s technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation, with the aim of delivering specialist innovation management services to public and private sector clients worldwide. Its approach is backed by Oxford University’s 30-plus years’ experience supporting academic innovation and entrepreneurship in over 70 countries.