Manchester’s small businesses will have the chance to test out a retail space for free and attend expert masterclasses to help grow their business, as Mastercard brings its ‘Thrive Street’ pop-up to Manchester from 7th – 12th June 2023.
The event will kick off with an afternoon of masterclasses on Wednesday 7th June at co-working space, Colony, One Silk Street. The day will be hosted by Holly Moore, Founder of Anything is Possible, and the 30-45-minute masterclasses will cover a range of topics including social media, creative marketing, pitching for funds, and accessing alternative finance. The sessions will be run by experts including Anna Jones, CEO at Your AJency and creative marketing strategist; Saloma Kelly, Digital Marketeer and serial entrepreneur; and Tinuke Awe, Founder of Learning with Ez, social entrepreneur, and public speaker.
The masterclasses are open to all, free to attend, and finish with an evening of networking attended by experts and small xowners.
Thrive Street is part of Mastercard’s Strive UK programme, which helps small businesses access free training and advice to tackle business challenges, like setting up an online shop, managing cashflow and creating a social media strategy. Businesses also have access to experienced entrepreneurs and boards to help them grow their business and strengthen their resilience. Strive UK has supported more than half a million businesses to date and works with Enterprise Nation, Digital Boost and Be the Business to provide support.
Small business owners in Manchester say they want more support, especially when it comes to using technology to grow their business. Two in five (42%) Manchester-based business owners say they want to use more digital tools but don’t know which ones are best for their business, compared to 33% nationally. More than a quarter (27%) say that access to mentorship and support will be crucial to the future growth of their business.
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The Thrive Street pop-up high street will open at the Arndale Centre on Thursday 8th June. Strive UK ambassador, Mary Portas, will officially open the event alongside Kelly Devine, President, UK&I at Mastercard, as well as local policymakers and industry bodies.
Businesses at the pop-up will include Calla Shoes, footwear for women; Clair T Designs, hand-knitted decorations; MAN-CUB, matching clothing for father and son; The Chocolate Cellar, handmade chocolate; Didsbury Gin, hand-distilled, natural fruit-infused gin; and Bunny Style, PRIDE-themed clothing.
Kelly Devine, President, UK&I at Mastercard, comments: “Manchester is bursting with entrepreneurship, creativity and talent, but small businesses need more support to grow and boost their resilience. We’re excited to give some of Manchester’s small businesses the chance to sell to new customers and help hundreds more to learn valuable skills that will help their business thrive.”