Mastercard launches app to support small business growth

Mastercard has teamed up with Enterprise Nation to launch a new app aimed at helping micro and small businesses across the UK make business plans from their smartphones.

The programme, supported by Strive UK, is an initiative from the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth that aims to empower 650,000 micro and small businesses succeed in the digital economy over the next three years.

The app, which can be accessed on smartphone or any smart device, offers access to business tools and supports tech savviness and business capabilities.

The launch comes as data from Enterprise Nation shows that 70 per cent of early stage business owners say they want to develop a plan to manage cash flow.

In addition, 55 per cent of more mature growing businesses are looking to establish a financial reporting routine.

The app will direct MSEs to a data-driven ‘one stop shop’, which will house relevant resources, programmes and digital tools from different support organisations to help founders build and grow their businesses.

Businesses can upload their details and to generate a digital business action plan which they can use to track progress on their phone.

The app comes at a time when more than one in 10 working age adults in the UK plan to start a business in the next three months, which equates to around three million individuals looking for early-stage business support and reflects an upward trend in the ambition to start a business.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “This is a totally new approach to deploying curated support and advice to business owners. They will be able to very quickly build a learning action plan and identify support areas that will have the most positive impact on the business.

“While you don’t have to be an expert in everything to start a successful business, understanding the basics to a decent standard can significantly increase your confidence and resilience – as well as your chances of success.”

Natasha Jamal, vice president, social impact, at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, said: “There is an explosive growth opportunity for the UK’s micro and small business sector, but it can only be realised if they receive the right guidance and support.

"For small business owners, trying to identify which digital tools are the right ones for their business can be a daunting task. The Strive app and one-stop-shop simplifies this by giving time-poor business owners all the resources and guidance they need to grow their business in one place.”

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