Santander Universities – what is it?  
Santander Universities is all about making an impact for society. We are supporting young and highly motivated and highly educated students, so they can make a major impact in society. We provide distinctive programs for students, so they can develop their capabilities and they can make things happen once they start looking for a job.

You invest a lot in Social Responsibility. Do you believe that early stage startups should care about social responsibility?
Absolutely. Social responsibility is a must for every business and every organization. It’s crucial for their own sustainability and the way they present themselves to their stakeholders. An organization should always solve a societal problem by providing products, services, etc. That’s the only way they can survive in the long term.

How is EIA helping Portugal?
This is the second edition in Portugal, after a very successful edition last year. EIA is bringing all these mentors together and this is a huge amount of knowledge and experience that they’re making available to students. EIA program is something that should definitely keep existing and expanding in the future, and I think Santander will surely stay a major partner.

Is there anything startups can learn from large companies?
Large companies can teach startups a lot about organization and what problems aren’t solved yet.

How to educate the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs?
Universities should start focussing on teaching students about critical thinking. As well as giving them the chance of more real life experiences: how to work at a large business or how to work for the government.

For both personal growth and business, are there any books or podcasts out there you’ve found to recommend?
The work of Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence. This has never been more important: everyone should grasp this concept. The Digital Mind by Arlindo Oliveira is also a book I would definitely recommend.

Did you know?

  • 1200 universities in 20 countries collaborate with Santander Universities
  • Santander Universities invested over €150 million in higher education in 2016
  • In 2015 Santander topped the ‘Global Fortune 500’ list as the company that invests the most in Corporate Social Responsibility in connection with education