Seedlab Australia secures $4m investment from Woolworths to help local SMEs become retail ready

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Small-business accelerator Seedlab Australia has secured $4 million in support from Woolworths to help start-ups and businesses across the country hone their craft and become retail ready.

Woolworths said the funding would enable Seedlab Australia to help producers of food, beverage, home and personal care products “start, scale and grow” through training and support from industry experts spanning business strategy, production, range, distribution and branding.

“The program will identify producers with the potential to scale their business in high growth categories such as artisan foods, health & wellness, and more sustainable products,” reads Woolworths’ statement.

“Those ready for retail distribution will have the opportunity to pitch directly to the Woolworths buying team.”

The program, which will be offered to startups and emerging businesses at no expense, will see Seedlab Australia deliver live and on-demand online learning content as well as tailored advice to participants, plus networking opportunities and workshops.

Seedlab Australia founder, Dr Hazel MacTavish-West, said it would support emerging businesses to develop effective retail pitches and branding, to optimise formulations, production and consistency of supply.

“We’re passionate about helping Australian producers plant the seeds for long term success and we’re excited to work with business owners across the country,” Dr MacTavish-West continued.

“It’s wonderful to see Australia’s largest supermarket invest in the industry pipeline to create opportunities for Australian food and drink businesses through our program.”

Woolworths Director of Buying, Paul Harker said investing in small businesses was “crucial to a thriving Australian food and manufacturing industry”.

“We’re backing Seedlab Australia with $4 million to help give entrepreneurs with bright ideas the leg up they need to make them a reality,” Mr Harker continued.

“Seedlab Australia will support pioneering businesses to grow and navigate what it takes to be retail ready and help us bring innovative new locally-made products to our customers.

“With mentorship from some of the best in the business, Seedlab can help great Australian products reach their potential – and customers right across the country.”

Producers and manufacturers looking to develop their products for retail distribution can register their interest with Seedlab Australia online and find more information at Seedlabaustralia.com.au.

Image credit: Seedlab Australia Facebook page
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