Santander and Oxentia Foundation have launched a competition to identify and support innovative, scalable solutions that open up banking products and services to everyone.
The Santander X Global Challenge is already open to entries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, Uruguay and the US.
To be eligible, startups should have annual revenues of up to €250,000, while scaleups need more than €250,000 in annual sales.
Solutions need to show that they offer better financial products and opportunities to young people and help them prosper through education; make retirees’ experience with digital banking services more transparent, fluid and personal; or give people outside the financial system access to banking products.
Héctor Grisi, executive chairman and senior executive vice president of Santander México, comments: “Guaranteeing that everyone has access to finance is a logical way for banks to enhance well-being, enable people to prosper, manage their needs better, broaden their horizons, and boost their quality of life. Santander is staunchly committed to financial inclusion, which is why we’re calling on entrepreneurs to join this challenge.”
A panel of international experts will judge entries and choose 20 finalists to pitch their ideas to business leaders, innovators, investors and Santander executives.
The six winners will be announced on 14 December. Three startups will each receive €10,000, while three scaleups will be awarded €30,000. The event will be live-streamed on the Santander website.
Oxentia Foundation chief executive officer Steve Cleverley explains why the organisation is supporting the Santander X Global Challenge: “At Oxentia, we work with entrepreneurs that are addressing many of the UN’s sustainable development goals. Helping entrepreneurs face these challenges through innovation is at the heart of our work.”
“The Oxentia Foundation is therefore delighted to launch a new Global Challenge in partnership with Santander X. Through this, we hope to identify innovative solutions that make digital financial inclusion available for all; to reduce inequalities for the young, old, and poorest members of society.”
In addition to the cash prize, the six winners will obtain membership to Santander X’s new entrepreneur community, SX100, which helps startups and scaleups get the resources they need to grow.
Startups and scaleups interested in competing have until 16 November to sign up.