Amazon Launchpad offers Aussie SMBs opportunity to pitch to Amazon AU HQ for an Innovation Grant

New research reveals more than three quarters (78%) of Australian SMBs will use e-commerce and digital tools to allow them to work from anywhere.

Twelve months on from the first lock down restrictions across Australia, local SMBs are feeling resilient and optimistic, according to new research from Amazon Launchpad, Amazon.com.au’s program to help Aussie startups and entrepreneurs bring innovative products to shoppers.

The research reveals that 89% of SMBs are feeling more resilient in running their businesses, 92% feel optimistic for the year ahead and 78% of SMBs will use e-commerce and digital tools to allow them to work from anywhere.

Commissioned by Amazon Australia, the 2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report explores the current sentiment amongst Australian SMB owners, how they’ve evolved their businesses over the past 12 months, and a look towards the year ahead.

Amazon Launchpad has today also announced that applications are open for its 2021 Innovation Grants initiative to celebrate innovation by Australian startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs as lifestyles continue to change.

Chadd Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad at Amazon Australia, said, “Lockdown restrictions have fast tracked the digitalisation of Australian businesses with over three quarters of SMBs saying ecommerce and digital tools have allowed them to run their business from anywhere.”

“Amazon Launchpad is a unique program that helps start-ups and entrepreneurs reach their online potential, whether they live in Broken Hill, Tassie, or Far North Queensland.”

“We hope this year’s Innovation Grants nurtures the ingenuity that Aussie entrepreneurs are famous for and help the winners grow their businesses through e-commerce.”

The Innovation grant packages are worth more than $200,000 each and include a $20,000 cash grant, Amazon advertising support, an exclusive boot camp experience with access to Amazon experts, a national advertising package with JCDecaux Nurture, industry mentorship, and onsite marketing placements on Amazon.com.au.

Amazon Launchpad will give 10 finalists the opportunity to virtually pitch their entry direct into Amazon Australia HQ, to a panel of judges.

The judges are Chadd Ciccarelli from Amazon Launchpad, last year’s grant recipients Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford from Crockd; Carolyn Creswell, founder of the country’s leading muesli brand Carman’s; and Kylie Frazer partner of tech investment group, Eleanor Ventures.

2020 Amazon Launchpad grant winner and 2021 judge, Rosa-Clare Willis of DIY Pottery Kit brand, Crockd said, “Not only did Amazon Launchpad open our eyes to Amazon as a marketing and distribution channel, but the program provided the support we needed during 2020.

The mentorship we received is incredible, and we see our business growing on Amazon.

You’ve got to be in it to win it, and to any small business out there, whose wondering whether they should apply for a grant, I say, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report findings:

The e-commerce opportunity

39% of SMBs said their customers are more open to buying online now than 12 months ago, 41% have seen an increase in online enquiries about their business over the past 12 months, and 15% of SMBs made a sale online for the first time ever in the past year.

It’s all about innovation

To navigate the uncertainty of the past year, 30% of SMBs said they invested in product or business innovation to reach new customers, and 82% said they will lean into innovation to grow their business over the next 12 months.

Top areas businesses are innovating in this year

  1. Growing their digital presence – 42%
  2. Taking their business into new markets – 39%
  3. Revising product offering – 33%.

Digital tools empower businesses for growth

81% of SMBs will use digital tools to network over the next year and more than 69% will use online channels to seek investment in their business.

What Aussie SMBs need most in 2021

  • Businesses have rated access to new customers – 47%
  • Support with marketing, advertising and social media activity – 34%
  • Financial support – 31%
  • Need help with future growth planning and innovation – 30%

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants entry period is from today to 11.59pm AEST, 10 May on www.Amazon.com.au/Launchpad. The five Amazon Launchpad grant recipients from across Australia will be publicly announced in June 2020.

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