Deadline for applications is October 12 for online only applications.
The programme will incorporate 180 participants: 90 mentors and 90 mentees across the UK.
Mentees will be the key decision makers in the company, whether that be the founder, owner, or managing director.
The mentors must have proven leadership qualities and could be an owner of their own business or a senior leader within a large organisation.
Santander is a strong supporter of women business leaders and has been offering support and networking events via its Breakthrough programme since 2011
The mentors and mentees must will be touch at least once a month and be matched as geographically close to each other as possible, so they can meet face-to-face regularly.
SMEs make up 99 per cent of private sector businesses so helping them to scale up and reach their potential is hoped to have a direct impact to the UK economy.
The Women and Work Commission2 also found that unleashing women’s full potential could be worth £23 billion a year to the Exchequer, but only four per cent of women are engaged in entrepreneurial activity, compared to nine per cent of men.
Louise Robinson, head of Breakthrough, Santander, said: “Santander is a strong supporter of women business leaders and has been offering support and networking events via its Breakthrough programme since 2011.
The programme will start on November 7 and run through to July 2019
“We believe that with the right level of support, we can help businesses grow. Our ambition is to create a Women Business Leaders’ network across the country which not only benefits the individuals themselves, but also their businesses, the local economy and ultimately the broader UK economy.”
The programme will start on November 7 and run through to July 2019.
Liz Dimmock, Women Ahead chief executive added: “As an entrepreneur myself, I understand just how daunting and overwhelming it can sometimes feel to go it alone. It’s a massive but rewarding step and one I’ve never regretted. Mentoring has enabled me to make this leap to set up the organisation I love, to embrace the (many!) challenges along the way and to always process and learn from the setbacks and success. “