Placing micro and small business at the heart of inclusive growth

September 27, 2021

According to official statistics, between April and December 2020 the average UK small business saw a 30% fall in turnover growth relative to the period before the pandemic began. Businesses in operation for less than a few years were particularly impacted, with turnover growth falling an average of 45%. Simply Business estimates that Covid-19 will cost the small business community upwards of £126.6 billion – double what was predicted at the beginning of the crisis.

The support ecosystem for British MSEs is multi-faceted and complex, with a significant number of public, philanthropic, academic and private sector initiatives available to MSEs at local, regional and national levels.

Recognising the importance of small and micro businesses to both economic growth and communities across the UK, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the philanthropic hub of Mastercard, has launched a nationwide initiative to bolster the digital and financial resilience and growth of British MSEs – Strive UK.

Over the spring and summer of 2021, Mastercard conducted a series of qualitative in-depth interviews with expert organisations and thought leaders across the country to better understand the barriers and challenges facing the UK’s MSE community and where additional support is needed.

These interviews were crucial in informing Mastercard’s understanding of where business needs are greatest and therefore where Strive UK can make the greatest impact.

Through our conversations with MSE experts, policy makers, industry and thought leaders, we identified four key areas of opportunity where Strive UK can work to advance the long-term growth and success of British micro and small businesses:

  • Empower and support MSEs to take advantage of digital technology
  • Simplify the current MSE support ecosystem
  • Encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and networking
  • Target resources at underserved segments of the MSE community

Media Contacts

Suman Hughes, Mastercard