Innovative program provides financial support and coaching to food-related and women- and minority-owned start-up businesses

DALLAS – June 2, 2022 – Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (“Santander Consumer” and “SC”) today announced that it has selected Dallas for the launch of Cultivate Small Business – a Santander US signature program that supports food-service entrepreneurs for women-, minority-, and immigrant-owned businesses in low- and moderate-income communities. Dallas-based nonprofit start-up accelerator Impact Ventures will serve as a corporate partner for the program with Santander Consumer. Impact Ventures manages an integrated capital fund focused on empowering talented women and communities of color, and will lead a grassroots effort to identify qualified small businesses to participate in the program and local food-industry experts to serve as mentors to program participants.

Launched by Santander Bank N.A. in 2017, Cultivate Small Business connects early-stage food-focused entrepreneurs with the key ingredients needed to succeed in business, including industry-specific business management skills, technical assistance, capital grants, and access to a local network of established industry experts. Cultivate Small Business’ immersive, 12-week learning experience combines MBA-level education with mentorship and capital grants to support entrepreneurs dedicated to working on their business while working in their business.

According to the U.S. Census, in 2019 just 18.7% (1.1 million) of U.S. employer businesses were minority-owned, and about 20.9% (1.2 million) of all businesses were owned by women. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many food-industry entrepreneurs with numerous businesses and restaurants closing their doors since the pandemic began. Food-industry entrepreneurs can benefit from the support of Santander’s Cultivate Small Business program. The majority of the more than 180 former Cultivate Small Business graduates indicate that the program has been valuable for their businesses:

  • 84% of participants believe that participating in the program will help them achieve their business goals.
  • 92% of participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the program overall.
  • 92% of participants feel that they will be able to translate the learnings derived from the program to their businesses.
  • 88% of participants would recommend the program to another entrepreneur.

Of the 32 businesses that participated in the 2020 cohort of Santander’s Cultivate Small Business, each received expedited capital grant funding from Santander Bank as soon as the economic shutdown was implemented, and all but one completed the year fully operational and in business.

“Cultivate Small Business is an innovative and highly successful signature program for Santander in the US, and we are excited to bring this program to Dallas through the support of the SC Foundation,” said Mahesh Aditya, CEO of Santander Consumer USA. “Food-related businesses – particularly those run by women and minorities in emerging communities – are the backbone of many of the neighborhoods that Santander Consumer serves. We are excited to work with Impact Ventures and the entrepreneurs who will join the program, and look forward to their future successes.”

“We are thrilled to help support Santander’s Cultivate Small Business Program expansion by working with Santander Consumer in Dallas. The industry-specific education, mentorship, and technical assistance will help food entrepreneurs retool and scale after the setbacks from the pandemic. We are appreciative of our expanded relationship with the SC Foundation and are proud to be selected as the regional partner for the program,” said Benjamin Vann, Founder & CEO Impact Ventures.

The 12-week course is free to eligible entrepreneurs, completely virtual, and is accepting applications now thru June 15. Entrepreneurs that are accepted will graduate from the program with a fully formulated business plan and pitch in hand, a strong grasp of their target market, cash-flow, financials and growth goals, a will benefit from a financial coach and mentor relationship, and $2,500 in capital grants. Interested entrepreneurs can reach out to or apply directly here:

About Santander Consumer USA

Santander Consumer USA Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a full-service consumer finance company focused on vehicle finance, third-party servicing and delivering superior service to our more than 3 million customers across the full credit spectrum. SC, which began originating retail installment contracts in 1997, had an average managed asset portfolio of approximately $64 billion (for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021). The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Santander Holdings USA, Inc., and is part of Madrid, Spain-based global banking leader Banco Santander. For more information about Santander Consumer USA, please visit

About Santander Bank, N.A.

Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the country’s largest retail and commercial banks with $102 billion in assets. With its corporate offices in Boston, the Bank’s nearly 8,600 employees and nearly 2 million customers are principally located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN) – one of the most respected banking groups in the world with 155 million customers in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. It is overseen by Santander Holdings USA, Inc., Banco Santander’s intermediate holding company in the U.S. For more information on Santander Bank, please visit

About Impact Ventures

Impact Ventures is a 501c3 start-up accelerator and integrated capital fund with a mission to empower talented, yet under-estimated Women and Communities of Color to create generational wealth through inclusive entrepreneurship and integrated capital.

Media Contact

Laurie Kight, Santander Consumer USA Inc.

(214) 801-6455

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