A free City of Sydney program that helps retail stores thrive in the digital marketplace has helped a Glebe café launch a new cake delivery business.
Applications are now open for the next round of the City’s Retail Innovation Program, a business accelerator program which has already supported 15 retailers this year, including Kate’s Cakes.
Delivered in partnership with Investible and backed by leading retail businesses and entrepreneurs, the program is customised to support small-to-medium businesses across retail operations such as fashion, furniture, homewares, music, food and hospitality.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said up to 20 retailers would be selected for the free 12-week program, which will help bricks and mortar retailers explore new ways of doing business.
“Through our Retail Innovation Program, we are committed to supporting local entrepreneurs face their business challenges, build capacity, be innovative and ultimately flourish,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to help passionate local business owners learn from global leaders and I encourage all local business owners to apply.”
For Kate Fellowes, owner of Kate’s Cakes and Saint John Espresso, the program proved an inspiration.
“I was pretty happy with where my business was, but my growth was flattening out. I was eager to achieve more, but I didn’t know where to take the business,” Ms Fellowes said.
“We were doing a business bootcamp when I realised that people don’t have to leave the house to order a cake or even pick one up – that was the lightbulb moment for me.
“One of the things I identified through the program was about maximising existing revenue streams. It was at that moment that the office cake delivery idea took hold.
“The program has given me so much depth in terms of what I need to know and what works financially. It challenged us all to think differently about our businesses.”
The Retail Innovation Program is based on methodology first designed by Investible’s co-founder Creel Price for Richard Branson’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa and will feature a combination of in-person mentoring and virtual delivery coaching modules.
“The Retail Innovation Program is a unique opportunity for local business owners to validate their boldest ideas and move their business forward, with personalised support from expert entrepreneurs and experienced retailers who intimately understand the challenges at hand,” said Elisa-Marie Dumas, Head of Programs and Partnerships at Investible.
“This is a high-value program that offers retailers the perspective and insight needed to grow. We invite retailers who want to review and test their business model, learn new, innovative strategies and de-risk their growth plans to apply.”
Applications for the Retail Innovation Program close on 24 November 2019.