Three quarters of SMBs relied on e-commerce and digital platforms to run their businesses last year. The figures are contained in the  2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report.

Amazon says it is helping to launch small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Australia through a grants initiative driven by its program Amazon Launchpad. 

Chad Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad, Amazon Australia

According to Chad Ciccarelli, Head of Launchpad at Amazon Australia, “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 that this year’s Innovation Grants will nurture the ingenuity that Aussie entrepreneurs are famous for and help the winners grow their businesses through e-commerce.”

Amazon Launchpad is today open to application submissions from startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs for its 2021 Innovation Grants initiative, worth upwards of $200,000. Finalists will, for the first time, be able to pitch virtually to a panel of judges at Amazon Australia HQ.

The innovation grant packages include a $20,000 cash grant, a JCDecaux advertising package, mentorship and training programs, as well as Amazon marketing and advertising support.

Rosa-Clare Willis, founder of DIY Pottery Kit, was a 2020 Amazon Launchpad grant winner  and will be a judge of this year’s panel, alongside Andrew Ford from Crockd, Carolyn Cresswell, Founder of muesli brand Carman’s, and Kylie Frazer, Managing Partner of tech investment group Eleanor Ventures.  

Both Willis and Ford saw global expansion into the US, Canada and Mexico in the three months after winning the 2020 grants. Reflecting on what the grant meant to her small business, Willis highlighted the support and mentorship she received from Amazon as critical to her business growth.

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

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants period will be open from today to 11.59pm AEST, 10 May on www.Amazon.com.au/Launchpad. The grant recipients will be publicly announced in June 2021.

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