Santander UK has launched its ‘Women Business Leaders’ programme which aims to pair 90 up-and-coming female entrepreneurs with 90 mentors. It’s the largest initiative of its kind for the financial services company and is open to businesses from all sectors and of all sizes. Mentors can be male or female established business owners and the programme is being run in partnership with social impact organisation Women Ahead.
Speaking on the importance of mentorship, Liz Dimmock, Founder and CEO of Women Ahead, said: “As an entrepreneur myself, I understand just how exciting, yet also challenging it can be. It’s a massive yet rewarding step and one I am grateful to have made and never regretted. I’ve personally benefitted from mentoring at all stages; from start up to now in year six – and it was in fact a mentor that supported and challenged me to make this very step –to found Women Ahead, my social impact organisation six years ago.”
The programme will run from March to November 2020 and to qualify for mentorship you need to be the owner or majority shareholder of a business with an annual turnover up to £6.5m.
Louise Robinson, Head of Breakthrough at Santander, said: “There has been some headway on breaking the barriers for women in business, but there is still a long way to go before we see gender parity. It’s important that these budding female entrepreneurs have access to regular guidance from business professionals who have tried and tested methods of running an enterprise.”