Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been awarded £100,000 from the Santander Universities Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund.
The grant will support the development of an innovative new enterprise facility designed to focus all of Northumbria’s entrepreneurial support and expertise into a central hub located in its campus. It will support businesses, including student start-ups, academic spin-outs and graduate-led enterprises, and will offer wrap-around business and innovation support services, entrepreneurship training, management guidance and mentoring. The number of students accessing enterprise support at Northumbria is also expected to double to more than 200 a year with the new facility.
Northumbria is one of 15 institutions across the UK to benefit from the fund, which was established to celebrate 10 years of Santander Universities’ programme.
Matt Hutnell, director at Santander Universities, commented: “We are delighted to award this grant to Northumbria University, which will enhance their great entrepreneurial programme further by supporting an even larger number of students with their innovative ideas. We are very excited to see it will also benefit local schools and businesses as well as the wider region.”
Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, vice-chancellor and chief executive at Northumbria, said: “Since 2015 Santander has supported a range of initiatives at Northumbria. Their focused support for higher education is enhancing the learning experience and career prospects for our students, and in turn is creating exciting opportunities for new enterprise.”
Developing the facility underpins Northumbria’s strategic approach to business, enterprise and entrepreneurial support, especially in key sectors such as digital design and tech businesses. It will become a 'front door' for the University's entrepreneurial activity and create numerous opportunities for collaborative work with the local community, which will have a direct and positive impact on the wider North East economy.
The enterprise facility will also allow Northumbria to increase its wider support for enterprise, including engaging more with schools and creating an entrepreneurial pathway through secondary education to university and beyond.
Santander Universities Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund is a £1m fund designed to support universities in delivering large-scale projects benefiting over 5,000 people directly and driving economic benefits across the UK.
The key objectives of the fund include helping to start, run or grow a business, developing and promoting entrepreneurial skills, culture and mindsets, championing innovation within businesses and delivering economic, social or employment benefits to both local and national economies.
Santander Universities was first created in Spain in 1996 by Emilio Botín, who recognised that universities play an important role in society. He believed that Santander should support these institutions through the provision of scholarships, mobility awards, entrepreneurship funding and much more.
Santander Universities now has over 1,200 university partners spanning across 20 countries. In 2007, Santander Universities was launched in the UK and now has partnerships with over 80 universities, providing over £10m of funding in 2017 to support university staff and students.
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