Thursday 24 September, 2020

Massy Group, NUDGE give small businesses a boost

Photo courtesy Massy Group.

Photo courtesy Massy Group.

Creativity and big business have come together to provide a space for local entrepreneurs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect businesses.

Massy Group has made it easier for customers to access products from their favourite small businesses through NUDGE, with stalls now at selected Massy Stores branches across the country.

NUDGE is a new platform advancing small business by leveraging the considerable influence and commitment of the private sector to support national development.

Two years ago, Julie Avey, Senior VP of People and Culture at the Massy Group and designer Ayoung-Chee met to discuss ways in local entrepreneurs could be supported to achieve their potential to help reduce our nation’s reliance on our non- renewable resources.

Seeking ways in which this support would provide new opportunities for employment as disruptions to traditional work across the region continue, NUDGE was born, to connect small enterprise with investors and markets.

Avey said the time is right “to look to uncommon places for bold answers.”

Ayoung-Chee said of the partnership: “Caribbean problems require Caribbean solutions.”

NUDGE will act as a facilitator to its first cadre of participants — a group of 16 entrepreneurs selected for their underlying missions, their commitment to social and environmental causes, and their considerations of environmental sustainability.

NUDGE products will have an in-store activation in Massy Stores, but the platform is a standalone operation, seeking partnerships with other physical and digital marketplaces, and organisations similarly supporting the development of the MSME ecosystem.

As it seeks to equip entrepreneurs on the importance of and commercialising a side hustle, NUDGE will host panel conversation webinars on the subject matter this month.

This is in partnership with the Massy Learning Institute, a Massy initiative focused on developing leaders to survive and thrive in disruptive environments.

Avey said: “Massy understands the importance of MSMEs to the future of the Caribbean economy and we are committed to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs who need support to scale. Nudge and Massy Learning Institute will be complimented by an Accelerator that Massy is launching to put resources (funds, skills, community) to the great ideas and future businesses that are home grown.”

Ayoung-Chee said NUDGE transcends the idea that creativity and good business are separate, seeing the idea as standing in the way of economic rejuvenation.

Avey agreed that the social enterprise’s relevance has only been reaffirmed by the onslaught of the pandemic.

She said: “We cannot solve the problems of the present with the approach of the past. Through deep listening, the corporate world can do more to benefit a wider community.”

“If a small business benefits, then so does the marketplace which hosts them, then so does the big business that decides to invest, and so does the consumer, and so does the country, the region,” she continued.

The key to development, Avey said, is to see the value inherent in the small entrepreneur at the beginning of this sequence — harnessing their power in the first place.

For more information on Nudge, visit www.nudgecaribbean.com

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: