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Mastercard launches Strive Learning Network for the UK’s entrepreneurs

By Joy Dumasia

October 19, 2021

  • Digital Transformation
  • Europe
  • FinTech
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Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth launches the Strive Learning Network as part of its new micro and small business flagship programme, Strive UK, launched in late September.

In partnership with Be the Business, Digital Boost and Enterprise Nation, Strive UK will support 650,000 British micro and small enterprises (MSEs), with a particular focus on businesses owned by women and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, to thrive in the digital economy. Over the next three years and beyond, Strive UK will provide small business owners with access to free guidance, helpful tools, and personalised, one-to-one mentoring.

This follows a new Mastercard report – ‘Striving to Thrive: The state of play for UK micro and small businesses‘ from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which exposed a significant risk that the UK’s small and micro businesses will miss out on an estimated £827 billion growth opportunity over the next five years if they are not supported to digitise.

Together with Enterprise Nation, Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth will host quarterly roundtables for the network to share learnings and insights into the most effective ways to support micro and small businesses. These forums will co-create new partnerships that will further the entrepreneurial ecosystem and solve the enduring challenges and opportunities facing micro and small business such as access to finance, inclusive digitisation, sustainability, time poverty, and open banking.

Kelly Devine, President, UK & Ireland, Mastercard, comments: “Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and will be crucial to building a more inclusive economy in the post-pandemic recovery. We formed Strive UK to ensure the small businesses that are so crucial to our communities, high streets and economies not only survive but thrive by equipping them with the digital tools and skills necessary to grow their businesses. The Strive Learning Network will convene organisations and policymakers to support and promote collaboration across the small business ecosystem, including partnering with local communities to ensure the impact of Strive UK is deep and long-lasting.”

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