The Co-op has unveiled its plan to seek out and support micro-businesses through a new incubator programme.
The scheme is set to launch at the start of 2022 and will see the convenience retailer partner with around a dozen small businesses.
According to the symbol group, the initial phase will provide industry and consumer advice, product design support, mentoring, technical guidance and access to the franchise’s category buyers and workshops.
The company will also be working in collaboration with RangeMe, which provides a platform to growing new businesses.
“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,” Co-op commercial director Matt Hood said.
“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.
“By working together, we can provide the insight, guidance, technical knowledge and support that they need to help their business develop and grow.”
RangeMe founder Nicky Jackson added: “Our mission to provide entrepreneurs and growing businesses a platform to bring their 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.”