Co-op unveils plans to search for and support innovative micro-businesses through new incubator programme

22 September 2021

Co-op has today (21, September) unveiled plans for a new incubator programme designed to search for and support innovative and exciting small-scale enterprises.

Launching in the New Year, the programme – which sits alongside the Co-op’s successful local sourcing programme – has co-operation at its heart and aims to build deep relationships with potential new suppliers while driving innovation, range diversity and agility.

The first phase of the scheme could see around a dozen small businesses partner with Co-op and benefit from a dedicated package of support including: mentoring, advice on product design, industry and consumer insight, workshops, technical hints and tips and, access to the convenience retailer’s category buyers.

Co-op Commercial Director, Matt Hood, said: “Co-op is committed to creating value in our communities, and we know from feedback that innovation, provenance and, supporting local businesses is important to our Members and customers. This programme is designed to help anticipate and, respond with speed and agility, to changing consumer needs in our communities. Our ambition is to hold the hands of young, innovative, small businesses in our communities, those with a real point of difference and something unique to excite shoppers and, by working together we can provide the insight, guidance, technical knowledge and support that they need to help their business develop and grow.”

Co-op is working with RangeMe to launch the initiative, its Founder and CEO, Nicky Jackson, said: “RangeMe is excited to partner with a forward-thinking and innovative retailer like Co-op as we continue expanding opportunities for emerging suppliers. Our mission to provide entrepreneurs and growing businesses a platform to bring their amazing products to market aligns with Co-op’s commitment to create value in local communities and we are eager to support and scale this initiative.”

Potential suppliers interested in finding out more should visit: www.coop.co.uk/our-suppliers

Further information:
Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702505551
E: andrew.torr@coop.co.uk

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