Reaching and engaging micro and small businesses today, and every day

June 27, 2024 | By Natasha Jamal and Janet Shulist

June 27 is Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, an important acknowledgment of the critical role of small businesses in their markets and beyond. For organizations and initiatives that support micro- and small enterprises, like Mastercard Strive, it also offers a point in time to reflect on progress enabling these businesses to build their resilience and grow.

For the past three years, Strive has been on a journey to empower small businesses for a digital future. We’re happy to report that by the end of March, we’ve reached more than 11.5 million small businesses in more than 15 countries through 21 programs and partners with digital content and transformational solutions. Beyond this progress, Strive is driving impact around the globe through dedicated country flagship programs, such as Strive Indonesia, Strive UK and Strive USA in addition to empowering women entrepreneurs through Strive Women

We are also seeing early but positive evidence of changes in small business capabilities and adoption of best practices as well as the use of new digital products and services. For example, five partners in Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam found that Strive-funded content and solutions are helping small businesses to:

  • Increase their resilience. Nearly nine in 10 small businesses surveyed reported being optimistic about their ability to survive a future crisis.
  • Increase their efficiency through saved time or costs. On average, 90% of small business respondents reported time savings, while 88% reported cost savings.
  • Increase their revenue. On average, 62% of small businesses reported increased revenue after engaging with our content.
  • Invest in or adapt their business. On average, 75% of small businesses reported investing in their business or adapting their businesses after engaging with our content.


Partnerships have been absolutely essential to this progress — they are the cornerstone of successful projects, especially for achieving deeper engagement and support with micro- and small businesses. From our Innovation Fund winners, who have tested new solutions and approaches, to longer engagements — such as our Small Business, Big Dreams program with Grab in Southeast Asia, our work with MESH  building the first online community for entrepreneurs in the informal economy in Kenya, and our work with Central Única das Favelas, Aliança Empreendedora and Flourish FI supporting the digitization of micro-enterprises in Brazil’s favelas — these partnerships have played a central role in Strive. 

In the coming weeks, we’ll examine some of these findings and share more from a recent evaluation of the channels and strategies that have been effective in driving small businesses’ uptake of and deeper engagement with digital solutions. We’ll also publish more on the evidence of positive impacts on small business outcomes.

Natasha Jamal is vice president for social impact, Mastercard Strive. Janet Shulist is senior manager for insights, Caribou Digital

Natasha Jamal and Janet Shulist