Program Update

Santander Bank’s
Cultivate Small Business

Santander Bank’s Cultivate Small Business program is designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), working to build and sustain food-related businesses in diverse neighborhoods. ICIC is one of Santander’s four strategic partners in the initiative, which also include Babson College, CommonWealth Kitchen, and the Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA).

Cultivate Small Business provides entrepreneurs with the key ingredients for success in their business including 12 weeks of industry-specific education, professional networks, and mentoring as well as small capital grants. Since launching in 2017, the initiative has offered six cohorts that have graduated more than 300 participants.

2022 Impact Snapshot: Cultivate Small Business

In 2022, Cultivate Small Business completed its fifth and sixth cohorts which served the largest group of entrepreneurs to date. The number of participants more than doubled from more than 90 to 185 participants representing businesses in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Each participant engaged in 22 intensive virtual learning sessions during the 12-week-long cohort, working with industry mentors and Santander coaches as they developed their own unique business pitches and action plans with concrete growth or sustainability milestones.


In 2022, the number of participants more than doubled from the previous year to 185


Low and/or Moderate Income (LMI)


BIPOC-owned/led businesses


Woman-owned/led businesses

Alumni Spotlight

“It was awesome. It was a great program for me. It was really about finding my tribe and my network. It gave me a shared sense of humanity. No one succeeds alone … It was a supportive network of like-minded people that helped me come to the realization of that collective power. It’s really been about doing more for other people and up-lifting the communities around us. We’re all in it together.”


Cultivating Small Business 2022