At Virgin StartUp we are big fans of the funding cocktail (mix and matching funding to provide the best option for your startup), as well as advocates for the power of crowdfunding. So we were really excited to learn about Santander Bank’s new initiative with Crowdfunder to help more social enterprises, community groups and charities to access funding they need – the first partnership between a crowdfunding platform and a UK bank.
So, what does the initiative involve? Santander have allocated £200,000 worth of funds to a marched-funding commitment aimed at social enterprises and community projects that use the platform to raise funding. If they are able to raise half of the money they seek, then Santander can donate the other half – giving a boost to enteprises that do good, and making their startup journey easier.
It’s great to see that banks and new platforms are taking the opportunity to collaborate, rather than just seeing each other as competitors. The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to funding, and so bank loans versus crowdfunding versus other sources aren’t all fighting it out – they’re all part of a bigger picture. What works for one business won’t work for another, and this is especially true for enterprises that do social good. Supporting these socially-minded ventures helps all of us, strengthening the economy and safeguarding innovation. Hopefully this is a mark of things to come, and a model to make raising finance for good easier, and less risky.