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Countdown launches small business accelerator program

Countdown supermarkets

Countdown has launched Kete, a $1 million accelerator program for small businesses in Aotearoa.

The program is designed to encourage a more diverse supplier base in the country, including businesses owned by Maori, Pasifika, youth, women, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities.

“We’re particularly interested in supporting local businesses owned by people who often face extra hurdles and challenges in the business world,” said Kiri Hannifin, GM corporate affairs, safety and sustainability, at Countdown.

“We know there will be lots of businesses out there that would love to be stocking their products at Countdown but need some extra support and guidance to make an impact on our shelves.”

Businesses participating in the Kete program will enjoy a package worth more than $250,000 including a $20,000 cash grant, customer marketing support, access to Countdown customer insights, product development and manufacturing support, and mentorship from experts across the retailer.

“It can be incredibly challenging to reach your goals as a small, minority-owned business and while the cash grant is great, what’s even better is the wraparound support and expertise that Kete offers,” said Hannifin.

Applications for the program are now open for all small to medium-sized New Zealand businesses and will close on August 15.

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