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A new report commissioned by Amazon Australia reveals the positive spin
that some SMEs are putting on the economic slowdown that has resulted from the
global coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report, more than a
quarter of SMEs (28 per cent) said the lockdown helped them innovate for the
future and more than a third (35 per cent) said they were able to refresh their
business plan, with 38 per cent saying they could focus on creativity during this
Drilling into this further, one in four SMEs used their time in lockdown
to explore new revenue streams or launch online, one in six created new
products or transformed their products and one in five planned for or built a
new business or product strategy to move forward.
Of the roughly 1000 SMEs surveyed, 92 per cent said they feel optimistic
for the future, despite the current challenges.
Amazon Australia has launched a new grant program that aims to help SMEs
capitalise on this innovation.
The e-commerce giant is offering five grants worth more than $80,000
each, including a $20,000 cash grant, Amazon and AWS marketing support and
exclusive access to Amazon leadership and entrepreneur experts from Amazon’s
office Australia and at its global headquarters in Seattle, among other
Lack of access to funding is the main reason Amazon is offering the
grants, according to Chadd Ciccarelli, head of Amazon Australia’s Launchpad
“More than a quarter of SMEs (29 per cent) 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 per cent) lacked guidance or
mentorship during this time,” Ciccarelli said.
“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.”
Applications are open through August 24. The winners will be selected by
Carl Hartmann, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic
Spirits, and Renae Smith, of health baking goods brand, Bake Mixes.