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Mastercard launches Thrive Street to support small businesses grow

By Joy Dumasia

November 02, 2021

  • Digital Skills
  • Digital Transformation
  • Europe
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Mastercard launches Thrive Street, a month-long event to support small business owners from the Northeast of the UK. Taking place in the Metrocentre in Gateshead throughout November, Thrive Street will provide local small businesses with an opportunity to sell goods and services from pop-up stands made available to them for free. Business owners will also be able to attend a series of masterclasses to develop skills to build long-term resilience and improve growth prospects, and network with other business owners within their community.

Over the first week (1st – 5th November), business owners will be invited to attend masterclasses covering various topics, including retail, marketing and PR, and digital skills. Strive UK partners will host the masterclasses Enterprise Nation, Be the Business and Digital Boost, and well-known faces from the business world such as Cecilia Harvey, Founder and Chair of Tech Woman Today, and Mark Martin, Urban Teacher.

Thrive Street forms part of Strive UK, a philanthropic programme created by Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth focused on supporting micro and small businesses around the country to succeed in the digital economy. Technology played a critical role in supporting small businesses through the pandemic. A recent Mastercard/Cebr report Striving to Thrive, found that 41% of small business owners believe their company would not have survived without digital tools.

Over the next three years, Strive the UK will offer free guidance, helpful tools, and personalised, one-to-one mentoring in digital skills, aiming to help business owners from various backgrounds, particularly supporting female owners and those from minority ethnic backgrounds traditionally harder to reach.

Kelly Devine, President, UK & Ireland, Mastercard, said: “Small business owners told us they hope to achieve a collective £827 billion in growth over the next five years, but this won’t happen without support, particularly when it comes to digital tools which have been so integral during the pandemic. Thrive Street and our wider Strive UK programme aims to empower small businesses with the skills they need to not just survive but thrive in the digital economy.” 

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