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Columbia Business School announced today that Santander Universities has pledged more than $850,000 to support the training and development of entrepreneurs in Latin America and New York City. The funding will be directed specifically to two prestigious and landmark entrepreneurship programs at Columbia Business School: the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America Program (ECLA), which has long enjoyed support from Santander; and the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center (CH-SBDC), which has launched a new project to help entrepreneurs hone their storytelling capabilities and develop their personal and professional brand narratives. This support builds on both organization’s longstanding commitment to helping entrepreneurs thrive globally and locally.
“Santander has been a critical partner and the ECLA Program’s lead sponsor since its inception, and we remain tremendously grateful for their support of our program,” said Nelson Fraiman, Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Business School and Faculty Director of the ECLA Program. “With their latest investment, the ECLA program is poised to deepen and expand the impact we have on leading entrepreneurs in the Latin American market.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Santander for extending their support of entrepreneurs here at Columbia Business School,” said Kaaryn Nailor-Simmons, director of the CH-SBDC. “Small business owners regularly seek out the CH-SBDC for guidance on a wide range of business strategy and operations issues, and this support will allow us to bring a new dynamic to those who participate in the Center’s activities.”
“Santander is thrilled to continue our support of the ECLA program and excited to start a new partnership with the Columbia Harlem SBDC,” said Gwen Robinson, Santander Bank’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “These incredible programs help businesses gain the skills, tools, and network needed to prosper in a competitive landscape. In addition to this charitable contribution, Santander’s Business Banking team will be lending their professional expertise at various SBDC events, directly helping local entrepreneurs grow their businesses.”
About the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America (ECLA) Program
The ECLA Program was launched in 2010 exclusively for CEOs and founders of mid-sized Latin American companies seeking specialized training to expand their businesses and compete in today’s changing global environment. Housed in the School’s Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, the program delivers a well-rounded curriculum taught by Columbia’s premier faculty from across many disciplines. Over a 13-month period, the program combines classroom and online training, implemented projects guided by faculty members, and one international study tour to provide an unparalleled curricular and community experience. By harnessing local entrepreneurs’ innate creativity and energy and combining it with a curated and well-rounded curriculum delivered by one of the world’s most prestigious MBA programs, the ECLA Program has become a crucible for growth, expansion, and success across borders throughout Latin America and beyond.
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