Strive UK: Empowering 650,000 British entrepreneurs to succeed in the digital economy

Our programs

Connecting micro- and small business owners with the training, technology, and tools to build resilience and thrive.

Untitled (375 × 780 px).png

Why this program?

  • Micro- businesses play a critical role in the UK economy. Combined with SMEs, this segment makes up 99.9% of businesses and employs 48% of the labor force; yet, they generate only 36% of total business turnover
  • These businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, with nearly two-thirds seeing a decrease in revenue as a result.
  • Digital tools have been critical to small business survival through the pandemic as consumer preferences shifted towards online and cashless purchases.
  • Strive UK provides free training and resources to help entrepreneurs better navigate the digital economy and build resilience for future shocks.

Program overview

Technology has played a critical role in supporting small enterprises through the pandemic; 41% of small business owners say their companies would not have survived without digital tools. However, challenges remain for small business owners looking to digitize, with 32% saying they want to use more digital tools but are unsure about which are most suitable. This increases to 49% in the case of small business owners from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Strive UK is supporting the resilience of Britain’s entrepreneurs by connecting them with the right tools, support, and skills for their business from three implementation partners: Enterprise Nation, Digital Boost, and Be the Business.

The program consists of:

  • Make a Plan tool: Through Enterprise Nation’s Make a Plan tool, entrepreneurs can access personalized learning journeys and tailored support services from across the ecosystem aimed at helping their businesses thrive.
  • One-on-one support to drive digital adoption: Digital Boost offers entrepreneurs free and unlimited personalized guidance from business mentors, as well as interactive master classes with peer businesses and experts to help drive adoption of digital tools. Digital Boost’s resource center curates training material that equips small business owners with essential skills to manage their operations.
  • Tailored support for ethnic minority business owners: Be the Business empowers minority-owned businesses by supporting leaders from this growing community to expand their networks and unlock critical resources. Entrepreneurs can access Be the Business's online tools to receive executive-level guidance from experts in some of the UK’s largest companies for support on how to strategically grow their businesses. 

About Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation is a vibrant community of small businesses and business advisors that facilitates access to trusted business support. Enterprise Nation has the resources, expertise, and connections to help new and existing businesses grow and thrive. 

About Digital Boost

Digital Boost helps startups, small businesses. and charities get the support they need to grow through matching organizations who need support with volunteer experts for free one-to-one advice, small group workshops. and learning resources.

About Be the Business 

Be the Business is an independent, not-for-profit organization, with a single goal: to help business owners and leaders improve the performance of their business.

By harnessing the assets and network of Mastercard and complementing government initiatives such as Help to Grow, Strive UK will help build the resilience of over half a million businesses across the UK as we recover from the pandemic and look to build a more inclusive economy.

Natasha Jamal

Vice President, Social Impact - Strive Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

Untitled (450 × 450 px) (1400 × 560 px) (450 × 450 px)-4.png
Implementation partners
Untitled (450 × 450 px)-2.png
Untitled (450 × 450 px)-5.png
Untitled (450 × 450 px)-7.png

Share this article

Articles related to this program


A closer look at the digitalization of European businesses in the wake of COVID-19

Firms that adopted digital technologies fared better during the pandemic but there were disparities in adoption with regard to firm size Financial support to digitalize played an important role, and more is needed The EU needs to focus on reducing the widening digital divide Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of digital technologies was usually associated with more innovative businesses.
Read the article

Mastercard launches Strive UK to support the nation’s micro and small businesses to adapt and thrive in the digital economy

Mastercard launches Strive UK to empower British micro and small enterprises to thrive in the digital economy over the next three years

Read the article

Digital peer networks to support small businesses

This insights page is regularly updated and highlights what Strive Community is learning about digitizing peer-to-peer networks and interactions to better support small businesses to grow and build their resilience. 

Read the article