Five opportunities every retail entrepreneur should know about

Five opportunities every retail entrepreneur should know about
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Mon 10th Mar 2014

If you're starting or growing a retail business, you'll want to know about the competitions, accelerators and opportunities being launched in your sector. Here are five of the best:


Launched by John Lewis with technology entrepreneur, Stuart Marks, JLab is calling on StartUps and small businesses that have technology and/or ideas that could impact the John Lewis in-store or online shopping experience.

5 applicants will enter JLAB for 15 weeks, competing for investment and a chance to supply John Lewis. You are offered £12,500 investment for 4% of your company and receive mentoring, workspace and talks/workshops to help you develop the idea. At the end of the 15 weeks, one company will receive £100,000 investment.

Applications now open and close on 17 April:

IDEA London

A partnership of Cisco, UCL and DC Thomson opens up a workspace and accelerator for tech companies, including retail. Current tenant, Snap Fashion, was started by 26 year old founder, Jenny Griffiths, and is getting to market with support from global brands. You could benefit from the same!

Apply online at:


A new hub and space in London dedicated to retail entrepreneurs. As the company states: 'TrueStart is looking for motivated entrepreneurs with innovative product, service or business ideas that are targeted at disrupting any aspect of the retail and consumer landscape. This could be anything including a retail technology aimed at improving the retail supply chain, data analytics for retailers, e-commerce, a social shopping platform, advertising technology, or even a new brand or consumer product.'

Hub tenants receive office and retail space, access to mentors and investment and professional services. Applications now open at:

Pop at HoF

House of Fraser is offering 10 businesses the opportunity to PopUp in its Oxford Street store. Brands will be offered space on the ground floor of the store for a minimum of 2 weeks and online profile and sales via for 12 months. Winners will also secure mentoring and support in topics from visual merchandising to logistics and branding.

Applications are open with a deadline date of 20th March. Winners will be announced on 2nd April with the PopUp commencing in May. Apply online at:

Worth Retail

Entries are closed for this inaugural competition but it's worth (forgive the pun) tracking the progress of this competition that's on the look-out for 'the best new retail businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK'.

Three winners will secure £200,000 in investment between them, with 10 - 30% equity taken in the company. Year-round mentoring is also part of the package:

Update: The Great Retail Revival

Last minute addition to this list...

House of Fraser has teamed up with the not-for-profit 'The Great Retail Revival Foundation' to offer ten promising retail brands the opportunity to trade within House of Fraser's flagship Oxford Street store.

The winners will get the opportunity to retail their products within House of Fraser's Oxford Street flagship which is situated on Europe's busiest shopping street. Nine winners will be chosen directly by the judging panel with a tenth spot given to the winner of a shortlist which will be judged by House of Fraser customers via social media channels.

Winners will also be given prime ecommerce space on House of Fraser's award-winning website and will be mentored by the experienced House of Fraser and Great Retail Revival Foundation teams to get them 'High Street' ready.

Enter the competition here.

**And finally ... if you're looking to access retailers in the food sector, attend The Food Exchange on 26 March to meet buyers from Sainsbury's, Ocado, Selfridges, Harris + Hoole and Waitrose and pitch your product! ** Find out more and book here

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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