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The second Retail Innovation Program will support up to 20 retailers with help from more than 20 expert partners.

Following a successful first year, the Retail Innovation Program, developed by  Investible in partnership with the City of Sydney, will return in 2020 with an expanded program and capacity to support more local retailers.

Designed to help future-proof Australia’s retail sector, the intensive 12-week accelerator will provide business owners the opportunity to innovate, scale and grow – free of charge and with the support of more than 20 innovation leaders and expert partners, leading businesses and Retail Innovation Program alumni.

The inaugural program featured 15 retailers including Citizen Wolf, Courtesy of the Artist, Koskela and The Cruelty Free Shop. The new program, launching in February, has been expanded to accommodate up to 20 retailers.

More than 15 partners have also signed on to support the businesses including Amazon Launchpad, Google, Afterpay, EY, Digivizer and Fishburners.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the City of Sydney was eager to expand the program, following a successful first run.

“In an increasingly digital world, we recognise the distinct challenges faced by our bricks-and-mortar stores to stay competitive. As new technologies evolve, retailers must seize the opportunity to innovate, in order to survive,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re proud to support businesses to build the skills to be dynamic, innovative and sustainable, and continue making a vital contribution to our identity and our economy.”

The Retail Innovation Program is developed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It’s based on Investible’s tried and tested methodology which has been used to train thousands of entrepreneurs – a methodology originally designed by co-founder Creel Price for Richard Branson’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

The program includes a combination of in-person learning and mentoring with virtual delivery coaching modules designed to transform traditional businesses into innovative entrepreneurial teams.

Over the course of 12 weeks, selected participants will review their business models, test their assumptions, and validate solutions to successfully de-risk their growth plan, with workshops covering topics such as:

  • Digital Strategy
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Retention
  • Financial Modelling
  • Customer Experience
  • Ethical Supply Chains
  • Pop-up Strategy
  • High-Performance Teams
  • Investor Relations

Participants will also have the opportunity to run their own pop-up retail experiences in Sydney.

“There’s no doubt the retail sector is facing significant challenges, but these challenges also create exciting opportunities for retailers who are prepared to innovate and adapt. This program is specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of local retail businesses and empowering them to act on those opportunities,” said Elisa-Marie Dumas, Head of Programs & Partners, Investible.

Alumni from the first Retail Innovation Program will take an active role in mentoring the new cohort, leading tailored workshops and sharing the insights gained by overcoming similar challenges. Participants can also take advantage of regular post-program support from Investible, with opportunities for regular catch-ups and collaboration.

“This program has been invaluable. Being able to work with Investible on breaking down each facet of the business and understanding what we can and can’t scale has been so important. This program has really helped us understand what we need to focus on and to future proof our business,” said Nina Cueva, Founder, Courtesy of the Artist.

“For me, I was never lacking the ideas, this has been about now having the framework to put those ideas through and validate them,” said Russel Koskela, Founder, Koskela.

“The Retail Innovation Program has changed my life. It exceeded far beyond my expectations and is an absolutely essential program for any existing business or those on their tip toes ready to launch,” said Scott Gault, Founder, Rara Redfern.

The Retail Innovation Program is designed to suit business owners who are:

  • Running a small or mid-sized business
  • Working in the fashion, furniture, homewares, services, music or food and drink sectors
  • Operating day and/or night
  • Focused on the future of your industry and excited about the opportunities ahead
  • Searching for new tools, information and technology to grow your business
  • Deeply passionate about what you do even on the bad days
  • Bringing consciousness around sustainability practices into your business.

Investible will host an information evening in late October and Mid November. Those interested in applying can register to attend.

Business owners who are interested can now apply at: https://www.retail.investible.com/

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