United States—Driving More Inclusive Growth Through Support for Small Businesses

Client: The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

Duration: 2022-2026

Region: North America

Country: United States

Solutions: Sustainable Business

Small businesses comprise 99 percent of all businesses in the United States and employ more than 60 million people. These entrepreneurs have also started an unprecedented number of new businesses in recent years. Yet, despite their importance, half of these new businesses will fail within five years—often because they can’t access the capital, tools, and networks they need to stay afloat. These challenges disproportionally affect underserved businesses and help explain the huge racial wealth gap that exists between white and minority-owned small business owners.

In response to these challenges, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth commissioned DAI to help shape, manage, and grow one of its signature initiatives focused on small businesses in the United States. The program, called Mastercard Strive USA, provides grants, technical assistance, and other support to Community Financial Institutions (CFIs), Business Support Organizations (BSOs), and mission-driven technology partners to help U.S. small businesses, and particularly underserved small businesses, access capital, go digital, and grow their networks and know-how. Cross-cutting strategic communications as well as robust monitoring, learning, and evaluation capabilities will also help elevate the Strive USA platform and brand in ways that drive more attention, ideas, and resources into the small business ecosystem with the goal of making it more resilient and equitable.

Over the span of five years, Strive USA will support 5 million small businesses in the United States.

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