Bootcamp gets Sydney businesses in top shape

Sydney retail, hospitality, and tourism businesses are invited to be part of a free program aimed at helping build capacity and resilience in a post-pandemic economy.

Twenty businesses will have the opportunity to be part of an accelerated initiative that will provide a step-by-step guide to improving innovation and digital transformation to help them adapt and grow.

The City of Sydney is partnering with digital innovation consultancy, Disruptors Co, on a tailored program for a select group of local businesses ready to challenge the way they operate, embrace the latest trends and explore opportunities to take their brand to the next level.

Kicking off on 1 May, the sessions will run for 12 weeks and include workshops, group activities and one-to-one coaching, in-person at a central Sydney location.

During the coaching, participants will get the opportunity to apply their newly acquired entrepreneurial skills and knowledge directly to their business, and by the end, will have their own unique growth plan ready to deploy.

"We established the Business Innovation Program to help brands across our area explore opportunities, nurture an entrepreneur mindset, and develop resilient business models," Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore said.

"This is about equipping businesses with the latest innovation methods, helping them to review their operational processes, and providing them with the tools they need to scale their business.

"We're looking for participants passionate about growing their business and open to adapting and exploring opportunities that can lead to a successful and sustainable future."

The City of Sydney is looking for 20 motivated and ambitious local business owners focused on the future of their sector, ready to commit and prepared to take the steps to grow. Eligible businesses include:

  • independent and small-to-medium-sized businesses with less than 200 employees in retail, food and beverage or tourism sectors. Examples include retailers in fashion, furniture, design, art, hair salons, cafes, bars and restaurants, tourism providers or tour operators
  • both brick and mortar stores and online retail sites such as online businesses committed to establishing pop-up opportunities or bricks and mortar operations in the City of Sydney's area
  • businesses in the City of Sydney's area with a minimum 2 years' operating experience, and currently at the scale-up stage.

Since the program launched three years ago, more than 70 local retail and hospitality businesses have successfully participated in and benefited from the process. An alumnus of businesses will take part in this year's sessions, including Workshopped, Courtesy of the Artist, Potts Point Bookshop and Kepos Street Kitchen. The group will provide participants with peer support and the opportunity to develop new contacts for continued learning.

"Participating was not only mentally and creatively stimulating, but it also gave us the chance to network with other business owners," Kepos Street Kitchen owner Kristy Frawley said.

"It was refreshing to participate alongside other people also facing challenges in growing their business.

"Since the end of the program, we've successfully streamlined our cafe operations and mixed up our digital marketing approach."

Anna Low from Potts Point Bookshop added, "We shook up our business model by streamlining publication consultations and now cater to niche wholesale clients."

Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Monday 3 April. A free, online information session will take place at 6pm on Monday 20 March to get a taste for the innovation journey ahead.

The 2023 Business Innovation Program runs between 1 May to 24 July.

For more details visit

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