Santander Bank continues funding for Cultivate Small Business program with FSBDC at FIU Business.

| By
(L-R) William Hardin, dean, FIU Business; Patrick Smith, head of consumer & business banking, Santander Bank; Christina DeLay, head of small business and corporate responsibility, Santander Bank; Brian Van Hook, regional director, FSBDC at FIU Business; at the opening of Work Café in Coconut Grove.

Celebrating the opening a Work Café in Coconut Grove, Santander Bank, N.A. executives highlighted the importance of small businesses and their commitment to investing in their growth.

“We have a long history of investing in the communities in which we live, work and serve,” said Christina DeLay, head of small business and corporate responsibility at Santander Bank.

The company awarded $100,000 to the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at FIU Business, a partner in recruiting participants for the bank’s Cultivate Small Business program, which supports early-stage entrepreneurs in Miami’s food industry with education, networking and capital grants.

The program is fully funded by Santander and free to entrepreneurs who are accepted into a cohort. Since the 2022 launch of the Miami program, 56 entrepreneurs have graduated, receiving over $202,600 in capital grants upon completion of the program.

“Cultivate Small Business has been a game-changer for small businesses in South Florida and Miami,” said Brian Van Hook, regional director of FSBDC at FIU Business. “The specialized 12-week program and food industry mentorship have helped our Miami graduates take their businesses to the next level.”

Miami food and beverage vendors who have participated in Cultivate Small Business, include Casa Gioia, SmokeHouse Miami, Koffeeology, and Gelato Gourmet. These small businesses were highlighted at the Work Café launch and helped cater the event.

The Miami Work Café joins Santander’s first U.S. location, in Brooklyn, New York. Since their introduction in Chile in 2016, Santander Work Cafés have expanded to over 200 locations in nine countries, including the U.K., Brazil, Mexico and Spain.