The Co-op has unveiled its new incubator programme designed to support and mentor small innovative businesses.
Since its first phase, ‘The apiary’ programme has seen nine small business partner with the symbol group retailer, all at a different stage in development.
The scheme will offer a series of support methods, which includes mentoring, advice on the product journey, industry and consumer insights and workshops, alongside technical hints and tips, and access to the Co-op’s buying teams.
The first businesses to take part in the scheme include The Urban Rajah, Caliendo’s Gelato, Mon Dessert, Superfoodio, Dapur Mariae, The Wonky Food Company The Woolf’s Kitchen Nemi Teas and Spare Snacks
“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 chief commercial officer Matt Hood said.
“We are delighted to partner with this first group of businesses to join our incubator scheme – they are all exciting and innovative organisations with a real point of difference and something unique to excite shoppers.”
Hood added: “Our ‘apiary’ programme is designed to help anticipate and, respond with speed and agility, to changing consumer needs in our communities. Working together we can provide insight, guidance, technical knowledge and support to help their business develop and grow.”