AMAZON LAUNCHPAD ANNOUNCES SMB GRANTS TO DRIVE INNOVATION
New research reveals 92% of Australian small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) feel optimistic for the future, despite challenging times
SYDNEY –7 JULY, 2020 – Despite facing economic setbacks as a result of lockdown restrictions, Australian SMBs say they are most optimistic about the ability to grow and innovate over the next 12 months, according to new research from Amazon Launchpad - Amazon.com.au’s program to help Aussie startups and entrepreneurs bring innovative products to shoppers.
Commissioned by Amazon Australia, the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report explores the current sentiment amongst Australian SMB owners, how they evolved their businesses while in lockdown, and their plans as Australia travels the road to recovery.
The research reveals that Australian SMBs have been innovating in times of uncertainty – with 28% of SMBs noting isolation helped them innovate for the future, refresh their business plan (35%) or focus on creativity (38%). During this time, approximately a quarter of SMBs also said they were able to innovate by exploring new revenue streams or launching online. Further, around 1 in 6 said they innovated by creating new products or transforming their products whilst 1 in 5 planned for or built a new business or product strategy to move forward.
To help propel this swell of innovation, Amazon Australia has today launched Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants, an initiative to recognise innovation by Australian startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs. Five grant packages will be awarded, each more than $80,000 AUD in value.
Chadd Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad, Amazon Australia said, “More than a quarter of SMBs (29%) said that the lack of available funding is the biggest barrier to innovating or growing the business for the remainder of 2020 and more than half (55%) lacked guidance or mentorship during this time. We hope that the new Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants will catapult a new wave of small businesses who have evolved during this time to continue creating and transforming products.
In the first year since launch, we’ve worked closely with many startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners to launch cutting-edge products on Amazon Launchpad as part of Amazon.com.au. Over the past few months in particular, we’ve seen Australian SMBs lean even further into innovation to grow their businesses and we’re looking forward to seeing how the grants will enable these creative minds to further this innovation for the future.”
Each Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants package is worth more than $80,000 and includes a $20,000 cash grant, Amazon marketing support, AWS Activate credits, and exclusive access to mentors such as Amazon leadership and entrepreneur experts from Australia and HQ in Seattle; time with successful e-commerce savvy Australian SMBs; and insights from angel investors in the Venture Capital community.
To help select the Amazon Launchpad Grant Recipients, Amazon Launchpad has recruited two SMB experts; Carl Hartmann, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of non-alcoholic company Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirts and Renae Smith of healthy baking goods brand, Bake Mixes.
On being a Innovations Grant judge, Hartmann said, “Having launched and built several startups, I know how exciting yet tough the journey is, especially this year with the economic impacts of the last few months.
“I’m honoured to work with Amazon Launchpad and award the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants to help small to medium businesses across Australia grow. I know the grant packages will go a long way in funding continued innovation as we’re on the road to recovery.”
Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report
Other key Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report findings:
- Digital reset: 1 in 3 (34%) said lockdown helped them develop their digital strategies for future growth.
- The ‘all-in’ Aussie attitude: optimistically four in five (84%) SMBs said there was an increased sense of support for local businesses, while three quarters (76%) said they had received messages of encouragement from customers.
- Future growth: SMBs said they most need funding to put towards their digital presence (15%), growing business into new countries (15%), staffing (15%), creativity (11%), e-commerce (10%), with $20,000 being identified an impactful injection of funds to help with these areas (84%).
The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants entry period is from today to 11.59pm, Monday 24th August 2020 on www.Amazon.com.au/Launchpad.
The five Amazon Launchpad grant recipients from across Australia will be publicly announced in September 2020.
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About Amazon Australia
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About Amazon Launchpad
Amazon Launchpad launched in August 2019 and highlights innovative, cutting-edge products from startups and entrepreneurs from around Australia and the world, making it easy for them to on-board, market and launch new products to millions of Amazon customers. Participants benefit from custom product pages on the Amazon.com.au Launchpad store, marketing support and access to Amazon’s local fulfilment networking including Amazon Prime. Amazon Launchpad also gives Australian consumers a chance to discover and support local brands.
Full T&Cs can be found on https://www.amazon.com.au/launchpad
Unless otherwise stated, the research included in the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report was commissioned by Amazon Australia and conducted by McCrindle in June 2020, surveying 1,001 Australian small to medium sized business owners.