Thursday, 17 February 2022
everywoman, the global platform for advancing women in business and founded in 1999, has announced a year long partnership with Mastercard to support female entrepreneurs across the UK. The two organisations will work closely together to support Mastercard’s bold work and commitment to help micro and small enterprises succeed in the digital economy through its recently launched Strive UK initiative.
Small businesses play a critical role in the UK economy, accounting for around 36% of turnover in the UK private sector and making up 48% of the labour force. Despite this, they have been hit hard by the pandemic, with nearly two thirds of small businesses seeing revenue decrease.
As part of the partnership, Mastercard is sponsoring the Artemis category at the 19th annual NatWest everywoman Awards being held on 7th December in London. The awards celebrate inspirational female founders whose creativity and resilience will help Britain weather the current economic storm.
The Artemis Award is given to the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years and Mastercard’s category sponsorship further demonstrates its commitment to its Strive UK initiative.
Strive UK will empower 650,000 British micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to thrive in the digital economy over the next three years and beyond – with at least 50% of business owners supported being female. Strive UK sits within the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth, which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The programme aims to empower micro and small businesses around the country to succeed in the digital economy through free guidance, helpful tools, and personalised, one-to-one mentoring.
Speaking about the partnership, Karen Gill MBE, Co-Founder at everywoman comments: “We are delighted to have partnered with Mastercard and support its ambitious plans for diversity and inclusion and supporting small businesses. Over the past 20 years, our tools and insights have helped global organisations with their diversity agendas. We know that gender diversity is an economic imperative in business and through the partnership with Mastercard and its sponsorship of the NatWest everywoman Awards’ Artemis category, we believe we have the chance to engage and advance exceptional female entrepreneurs.”
Kelly Devine, President, UK & Ireland, Mastercard, comments: “Small businesses are the beating heart of the British economy. The past 18 months have proved almost unendurably tough for many, and data shows that small businesses are in urgent need of support if they are to survive and grow post-pandemic. Strive UK has been set up to act as a free resource for small business owners across the country, helping them to navigate the digital economy, build relationships and communities, and ultimately realise their growth ambitions. It is because of this mission that our partnership with everywoman and sponsorship of the Artemis category are so important. Through this we can continue to support and celebrate small and micro businesses in their growth and especially those of game changing female entrepreneurs.”
The finalists for the Artemis Award include Julie Bishop (CEO of IT Naturally), Anshu Ahuja and Rennee Williams (Co-Founders of DabbaDrop) and Emma Parkinson Director of International Energy Products Limited. The judging panel includes Chrissie Rucker OBE and Founder of The White Company, Celia Duncan Women’s Editor at The Daily Mail and Rosaleen Blaire CBE, Founder of Alexander Mann Solutions amongst others.