MASTERCARD has launched Thrive Street, a month-long event to support small business owners in the North East.

Taking place in the Metrocentre in Gateshead throughout this month, Thrive Street will provide local small businesses with an opportunity to sell goods and services from pop-up stands made available to them for free.

Business owners will also be able to attend a series of masterclasses to develop skills and improve their growth prospects, as well as network with other business owners.

The event was opened by the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Dot Burnett, and retail consultant, Mary Portas, who delivered a talk about the impact of the pandemic on business and the importance of digital tools for revenue growth, especially for local, high-street retailers. Over the course of this first week, business owners will be invited to attend masterclasses covering a range of topics, including retail, marketing and PR, and digital skills.

Thrive Street forms part of Strive UK, a philanthropic programme created by Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, focused on supporting micro and small businesses around the country.

Mastercard’s UK president Kelly Devine said: “Small business owners told us they hope to achieve a collective £827 billion in growth over the next five years, but this won’t happen without support, particularly when it comes to digital tools which have been so integral during the pandemic.

"Thrive Street, and our wider Strive UK programme, aims to empower small businesses with the skills they need.”


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