Santander Universities - Entrepreneurship

Launch @ Salford was created to provide students and graduates with the skills they need to help launch and develop a start-up business.

Launch @ Salford

Thanks to our partnership with Santander Universities and the Business Growth Hub, Launch is able to provide a space for budding entrepreneurs to learn and collaborate with like-minded people, and the opportunity to secure a range of grants through a variety of programmes. 

Despite having to deliver their service remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020/21 academic year has been their best yet as they've supported 480 students with enterprise training and 51 student businesses, awarded £96,000 in cash grants, provided 70 businesses with funding, and ran 86 events!

Find out more about Launch @ Salford


Launch are committed to providing an inclusive student experience and have a strong commitment to international students, BAME entrepreneurs, and female founders. 

  • During 2021, they supported 64 international students and created a bespoke programme for Launch Global to engage with their international entrepreneurs, covering everything from finance to tech solutions to marketing. Over 16 sessions, students developed their business models with eight securing up to £2,000 in funding! 
  • For the year, 56% of event attendees were from a minority ethnic background, and 25 students from across the University participated in Santander's Black Inclusion programme, with one securing a £1,500 grant. 
  • 45% of their business owners were female and six of them secured grants of £2,000 - £3,000 thanks to Santander Universities funding. 

Festival of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

In 2021, Launch held their first Festival of Entrepreneurship & Innovation to inspire students and alumni in their endeavours. 

The Festival ran over five weeks and welcomed 1,500 current students, alumni and external business members for a range of masterclasses, keynote speakers, and competitions which focused on key entrepreneurship themes: local, global, creative, and innovation.

During the Festival, Launch welcomed Alumni keynote speakers such as John Roberts (CEO of AO), Vikas Shah MBE (CEO of Swiscot Group and author of Thought Economics), and Cesar Melo (CEO of VidMob and Honorary Fellow of Salford Business School|). 

We are also delighted to announce that £26,500 was awarded in grant funding during the Festival through the Launch Business Challenge, Launch Newcomer's & Showcase competition, and the Creative Competition. 

Launch Business Challenge

Launch encourages their students to give back to the local community and ensure that their business ideas are sustainable and ethical. 

As part of the very first Launch Business Challenge, five student teams collaborated with a local charity, Salford Foundation, to help them connect with their beneficiaries and create solutions for their challenges. 

Salford Foundation set two challenges for the teams to choose from: 

  • Learning City: Develop a digital solution to capture the skills and experiences of the women at the Women's Centre in Eccles to help recognise and accredit their existing life experiences to increase their confidence in accessing education and employment opportunities. 
  • Digital Buddies: Create a central system to manage the interactions between young people and older beneficiaries. 

All five teams then pitched live in the final for a chance to win part of the £5,000 funding pot (sponsored by Santander Universities) and a place on the Launch programme. 

Grand prizes of £1,875 were awarded to two winning teams, with £100 awarded to the other teams that made it to the final. 

Launch Showcase Competition

The 2021 Launch Showcase Competition ran as part of the Festival of Entrepreneurship & Innovation to award £3,000 of Santander Universities funding to the most progressed business of Launch Cohorts 1-6. 

Thanks to Santander Universities' generosity, we were able to award four winners with £3,000 and two runners up with £1,000 each! 

Launch Newcomer & Creative Competition

The Launch Newcomer Competition was open to students and alumni from across the University to win a £1,000 start-up grant and a place on the Launch programme; Launch also held the Creative Competition to encourage entrepreneurship within our School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology. 

Five students won the £1,000 Newcomer award, one won the £1,000 Creative award, and three runner-ups secured £500 each!