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Tide Achieves Female-Led Business Milestone – Onboards 100,000 10 Months Ahead of Target

Committing to improving gender equality and removing barriers to female entrepreneurship, Tide, the financial platform for businesses has announced it will help 200,00 female-led businesses start out by the end of 2027. 

The announcement by Tide has come following the onboarding of 100,000 female-led businesses. This is way ahead of its 2023 end-of-year target – 10 months to be exact. As the organisation looks to the future, it looks to be the first fintech to support women on such a large scale.

Female-led businesses make up just a fifth (20 per cent) of all new businesses in the UK. To address this and other challenges, Tide is launching a Women in Business content series. It looks to inspire, inform and champion female Tide members.

Tide recently conducted a survey of 2000 members to find out how challenging women found it to start their own businesses. Fifty-three per cent stated that issues like a lack of mentors, operational knowledge and self-confidence are hindering their creation. The survey highlights a need for change.

To tackle these issues, Tide has collaborated with Mastercard, the global payment processor. Specifically, the partnership will direct Tide members to Mastercard’s Strive UK programme. There, members will be given free training and target advice to help them get their businesses up and running. Challenges associated with creating a social media strategy, setting up an online shop or accepting online payments are all to be tackled.

Tide is looking to have a global impact. Having launched its product in India in December 2022, it now has a growing user base in the region. However, it is not stopping there. To truly reach its goal of helping more women-led businesses, the company has launched the Sarthika web portal. This is an initiative to help female business owners navigate the delivery of India’s government assistance schemes.

The benefits of Mastercard’s Strive UK programme

Heather Cobb, SVP member engagement at Tide, said: “Having listened to our members, we know the struggles they face when starting and running a business. As a result, we want to make that process as easy as possible. A mere 5.6 per cent of women in the UK run their own business. This is much lower than developed economies such as Canada (15 per cent) and the US (11 per cent).

“Today’s commitment is just the beginning of our journey to improve gender equality in entrepreneurship. We look forward to working with Mastercard and others to achieve this goal.”

Kelly Devine, president, UK&I at Mastercard said: “There’s so much we can do to support women entrepreneurs if we work together. Entrepreneurs told us that they often don’t know where to look for credible support services. It’s great that Tide is helping women find support, inspiration and information that will help them start and grow a business.”

Though the Strive UK programme looks to help grow all small businesses, it focuses especially on those led by women and ethnic-minority owners.

Through Strive UK, Tide members can:

  • Build a personalised business action plan with Enterprise Nation’s Make a Plan tool
  • Connect with experts in strategy, marketing, technology, finance and more. Receive 1:1 or small-group business mentoring through Digital Boost.
  • Access their very own board of experienced business people for 12 months, connect with a mentor, or get free technology advice through Be the Business.
Success story
Atinuke Awe, Tide member
Atinuke Awe, Tide member

It’s easy to say that change is happening. However, it can be difficult to believe it when the only visible change is numbers either rising or dropping. Therefore, Tide has shared a success story through its Women in Business content series. The series aims to spotlight lessons from running innovative businesses and help the community of female Tide members supercharge their ventures.

Atinuke Awe (Tinuke) is a Tide member who acts as a shining example for others. Tinuke hosted a masterclass on ‘Accessing alternative finance’. She has also founded and co-founded a variety of organisations to help women and ethnic minorities in the financial world and beyond.

Tinuke founded the social platform for mums, Mums and Tea, and Learning with Ez, diverse educational resource provider. Furthermore, she is also the co-founder of Five X More CIC, an organisation committed to changing Black maternal outcomes in the UK.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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