May 27, 2021
After surviving one of the toughest economic years to date, local Sydney businesses are going well beyond recovery from the COVID pandemic. They’re paving the way for the future of small business.
In 2019, the City of Sydney in partnership with Investible, pioneered the Retail Innovation Program, a 12-week initiative to support local retailers and business owners to innovate, grow and adapt to a changing world.
Now closing out its third year, the program has included over 50 businesses in the heart of the city. This diverse group of business owners span from a variety of sectors such as retail, hospitality, beauty, health and wellness and manufacturing.
Short term outcomes have manifested into learnings that are helping these amazing companies stand out and continue to prosper well into the future. It’s clear, the flame of entrepreneurship is burning bright in the City of Sydney.
Over this short action-packed period, the program aims to de-risk every aspect of the business model and provide owners with the tools and strategies needed to remain competitive in today’s increasingly-digital landscape.
One of the program’s central themes is applying the mindsets and frameworks learned to real business challenges. By blending the combined experience of industry-leading business owners with a rich playbook of strategies and tools, partnerships, collaborations and new opportunities all sprout.
While many of the small businesses in this year’s program fell victim to the pandemic, they quickly pivoted—adapting to their new environment—and are accelerating into the future stronger than ever.
Here are some highlights from businesses in the program’s 3rd cohort.
The Retail Innovation Program isn’t just about immediate wins. It’s designed to underpin long-term growth and vision, setting businesses up for the years to come. By creating a culture that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and a test-quickly-fail-fast environment, we see this shift in mindset set these businesses apart, year after year.
Here are some other success stories from program alumni
Beyond the individual successes of each business in the program, we’ve been so excited to see the benefits continue to compound in the active alumni community. These City of Sydney-based businesses create a strong network through the twelve weeks that lasts well beyond the duration of the program.
The program also establishes a wonderful camaraderie amongst the participants. Entrepreneurship can be an isolating and lonely journey, but when you surround yourself with like-minded locals who share similar challenges, it gets a lot easier.
We see this in hundreds of messages weekly and casual conversations leading to genuine partnership opportunities. These businesses are demonstrating the power of a dedicated and diverse community as they contribute to making Sydney a beacon of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Learn more about the Retail Innovation Program here.