Monday, November 20, 2017

StartUp Britain announces John Lewis scheme

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StartUp Britain, a campaign which seeks to inspire entrepreneurship among small businesses, has announced a new scheme in partnership with department store John Lewis.

The PitchUp campaign will offer candidates the opportunity to have their products stocked within the department stores once they have submitted a “well-developed product concept”.

A shortlist of the most promising applicants will present products directly to John Lewis buyers, pitching their ideas in a Dragon‘s Den-style pitch.

Successful applicants will then collaborate with buyers in a mentoring scheme allowing the product or service they are offering to be refined prior to roll-out.

StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: “Getting a foot through the door of a major high street retailer is what dreams are made of for small businesses.

“We‘re delighted that John Lewis has joined us to offer talented British businesses a unique opportunity.

“This is a really great example of what can happen when big helps small – and it‘s just what British start-ups need.”

Earlier this summer, StartUp Britain unveiled a pop-up shop in Richmond which saw a redundant store space refurbished to house six retailer for a fortnightly period each and the campaign is expected to be extended across the UK aiming to rejuvenate fledgling high streets.

John Lewis works to promote and support British businesses through a number of initiatives including through its ownership of Lancashire-based factory Herbert Parkinson, while it also identifies UK-made items using a new ‘Made in UK‘ label.

“The StartUp Britain scheme is really exciting on a number of levels and we are proud to be part of PitchUp, which actively supports British business,” Anna Rigby, Head of Buying, Home Accessories & Gifts commented.

“Through PitchUp we‘ll be looking for new products and services from emerging British-based talent that will delight our customers.

“We are particularly keen to find new products that offer innovation, function and unique design combined with a commercial edge and we look forward to working with a range of talented businesses and playing our part in helping to nurture Britain‘s future retailing talent.”

Applications close on September 17th 2012 and interested businesses can apply online to be included in the pitch on October 23rd.