The New York Stock Exchange acknowledged Banco Santander’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the world economy. In particular, the NYSE highlighted the international Santander X Tomorrow Challenge, launched by the bank in May via Santander Universities, as an initiative to support global entrepreneurship and provide innovative solutions to help mitigate the socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus crisis.
As a symbolic act of this recognition, the President of Banco Santander, Ana Botín, rang on Monday the virtual bell to mark the end of the stock market session in Wall Street. The initiative awarded the 20 winning projects of entrepreneurs from 10 countries on last July 17.
Santander Group executive chairman, Ana Botín noted that “we can come out of this crisis stronger if we’re able to innovate and come up with new ways of tackling problems. Being a responsible bank means creating opportunities for the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesspeople to help their ideas become a reality That’s why we’ve set this challenge which highlights the commitment we’ve shown to education, employment and entrepreneurship over the past 20 years”
The 20 winning start-ups, chosen out of 2,251 projects for their projection, viability and scalability, will receive €20,000 each to carry out their projects, receive mentoring, hold roadshows to raise finance, and receive media coverage. The largest number of entries came from Brazil, Spain and Mexico, representing over 60% of the projects submitted.
The winners came from ten different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Spain, the UK and the US) and 40% of projects were from women, an excellent figure that illustrates the growing number of women entrepreneurs.
Santander X Tomorrow Challenge is part of Banco Santander’s overall response to the global crisis caused by COVID-19, which has mobilised over €100 million worldwide to tackle the virus and mitigate its impacts on the groups most affected, of which €30 million has been mobilised through Santander Universities. It has promoted research projects to develop vaccines, medicines and new diagnosis tests, provided assistance to disadvantaged students so they can continue with their studies, and worked on driving the university system’s digital transition.
Moreover, to help improve the situation caused by the pandemic, more than 25,000 Santander scholarships have been arranged to help university students and graduates develop digital, language and soft skills as a way to improve their job prospects.