Our commitment to empowering 200,000 female business owners by 2027

At Tide, we’re firm believers in the boundless power of women in business and their incredible potential to shape the future. That’s why we’ve already hit our 2023 target: in March, we announced that we’d successfully onboarded more than 100,000 female-led businesses1 to our platform. We did this ten months early*, and that achievement has only fueled our passion and determination to support even more aspiring women in entrepreneurship.

And today, we’re thrilled to announce our newest commitment: to help another 100,000 women in business start and thrive by the end of 2027 – that means we’ll be extending our support to a total of 200,000 female entrepreneurs on their journey towards success.

As the first fintech company to support female entrepreneurs on such a large scale, we’re dedicated to promoting gender equality and removing obstacles every step of their way.

Our Women in Business content series

In February, we conducted a survey among our members across the UK, gathering nearly 2,000 responses**. The results revealed that more than half of women find it challenging to start their own business. They highlighted barriers such as lack of mentors, operational knowledge and self-confidence that often hinder their progress2. Having listened to our members, we know the struggles they face when starting and running a business, and we want to make that process as easy as possible for them.

It’s disheartening to see that female-led businesses currently account for only 20% of all new businesses in the UK, and a mere 5.6% of women in the UK run their own business – much lower than developed economies such as Canada (15%) and the US (11%)3

We’re fully committed to changing this statistic and creating an environment where every woman has the opportunity to succeed, so we launched our Women in Business content series4. This is an initiative that offers women valuable business mentoring, learning and development opportunities, success stories and guidance – all to equip them with key skills to navigate the world of entrepreneurship.

Nurturing the growth of small businesses: Mastercard’s Strive UK programme

We’ve teamed up with Mastercard to offer our members access to their Strive UK programme5 – from the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth – that’s focused on helping small businesses with digital skills, particularly those led by women and ethnic-minority owners.

All our members will get free training and targeted advice, helping them tackle critical business challenges head-on – whether they want to create a social media strategy, set up an online shop or accept online payments. They’ll be able to:

  • Engage with industry experts in strategy, marketing, technology, finance and more, through personalised 1:1 or small-group business mentoring offered by Digital Boost7

  • Benefit from the guidance and support of their very own board of experienced business professionals for an entire year – they can connect with a mentor or receive technology advice free of charge through Be the Business8

Today’s commitment is just the beginning of our journey to improve gender equality in entrepreneurship and we look forward to working with Mastercard and others to achieve this goal.

Kelly Devine, Divisional President, UK & Ireland at Mastercard said: “There’s so much we can do to support women entrepreneurs if we work together. Entrepreneurs told us that they often don’t know where to look for credible support services, so it’s great that Tide is helping women find support, inspiration and information that will help them start and grow a business.”

Thrive Street: Mastercard’s pop-up high street event

On 7 June, and for six days, Mastercard officially launched its ‘Thrive Street’ pop-up’9 in Manchester’s Arndale Centre as part of their Strive UK program. Mary Portas, known as the ‘Queen of Shops,’ opened the event alongside Kelly Devine, President, UK&I at Mastercard. Bill Esterson MP, Shadow Business Minister, also attended to mark the occasion. 

This initiative aimed at providing valuable assistance to micro and small businesses in the UK, to help them overcome challenges and achieve success. During the event, attendees participated in expert-led masterclasses that focused on driving growth, and got the chance to buy products from fellow small business owners. 

We’re proud to say that Tide members were well represented: our member Atinuke Awe10 led a masterclass on how to access alternative finance, and our member Bunny.Style11 showcased their LGBTQ+ clothing range in a Thrive Street stall. Other engaging masterclass sessions covered a wide range of topics, including social media strategies, creative marketing techniques, and effective funding pitches.

Our members later told us that they walked away with actionable insights and practical knowledge that equipped their business with the tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

A supportive community for you

Our Women in Business content series12 focuses on creating a vibrant community where female Tide members can learn from one another, inspire each other and achieve new heights. As part of this series, we’re honoured to feature successful serial entrepreneur and social advocate Antinuke Awe (Tinuke). She’s the founder of Mums and Tea13, Learning with Ez14, and co-founder of Five X More CIC15 – an organisation committed to changing Black maternal outcomes in the UK. As we mentioned above, Tinuke was one of a select few entrepreneurs chosen to host a Thrive Street masterclass on “Accessing Alternative Finance,” and her entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the resilience and determination of women in business.

Our commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs knows no bounds. With a growing member base in India, we’ve set a target to support 500,000 women-led businesses there by the end of 202716. We also recently launched the Sarthika web portal17, an initiative designed to help female business owners navigate India’s government assistance schemes.

Wrapping up

At Tide, we’re more than just a financial partner. We’re a community of like-minded individuals, driven by the shared goal of empowering women entrepreneurs. Your success is our success, and we’re here to listen, support and cheer you on.

Together, let’s shatter glass ceilings, rewrite the rules and create a world where every woman’s entrepreneurial goals are celebrated.

* Based on an average sample survey of Tide members

** The Tide member survey was conducted between 3 and 7 February 2023, with 1,961 total respondents

Sources used for this article (checked as of 14 June 2023):

1,2 Tide onboards more than 100,000 female members

3 The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship

4,12 Tide’s Women in Business content series 

5 Strive UK programme

6 Enterprise Nation

7 Digital Boost

8 Be the Business

9 Mastercard’s ‘Thrive Street’ 

10,14 Learning With Ez

11 Bunny.Style

13 Mums and Tea

15 Five X More CIC

16 Tide commits to empowering 500,000 women-led small businesses in India by 2027

17The Sarthika web portal initiative

Heather Cobb

Heather Cobb

SVP Member Engagement

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