(Port of Spain)— Following a US$1 million investment by the Massy Group impacting 90+ budding and established entrepreneurs, the social enterprise Nudge is poised to transform the small business landscape with its next phase.
Started by Anya Ayoung-Chee and Julie Avey, Massy Group’s Senior Vice President of People and Culture, Nudge has introduced a new, semi-permanent “Corner Shop” in Massy Stores outlets to maximize the visibility of local products — as well as expanded opportunities available to small businesses in Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia and Barbados. These groundbreaking initiatives launched in August and September.
In 2020, Ayoung-Chee and Avey launched Nudge, an enterprise readying small businesses in Trinidad and Tobago for bigger markets. Nudge also focused on conducting research and implementing programmes to support employees disrupted by the pandemic. It has guided programme participants towards fulfilling their passions, whether by encouraging entrepreneurship or strengthening skills for re-entry — all with the intention of contributing towards the future of work.
Motivated by its tagline, “Mindfully Made,” Nudge mentored enrolled applicants, providing trial space in Massy Stores to sell their products. The decision was guided by global consumer research, which sees people in troubled times reaching for more sustainable, conscious ways to give back to their communities and countries.
The initiative was so successful that Massy Stores offered semi-permanent, prime visibility and a stylish space to select Nudge businesses. Galt & Maree, Cocoa Dreams Estate, Aviaire Body, De Jeunésse, Immortelle Beauty, and Art Naturals: Soap and Spa Essentials showcase a range of local, handmade body care products in innovative Corner Shop gondola ends designed by award-winning team Blayne Clark and Marlon Darbeau of Praktis and By Making.
The Corner Shop opened across the country in six of the most prominent Massy Stores locations. The initiative gave consumers the opportunity to shop local while the entrepreneurs, on the other hand, learned to compete on a scale equal to Massy Stores’ larger and international brands. Participating entrepreneurs accessed opportunities for curbside pickup, receiving a marketing boost through Massy Stores’ channels as well as continued mentorship from the Group’s senior retail executives.
Shifting the culture of business, Nudge has opened doors for creatives to work alongside established, regional businesses, sharing opportunities for learning and empathy.
This level of exposure is incredibly valuable,” affirms Ayoung-Chee. “Nudge prides itself on strategizing based on participants’ feedback. Deep and generous listening is vital if we are going to be true to our intention to serve entrepreneurs,” Avey adds.
Further plans for Nudge’s next phase includes access to loans for scaling and additional, helpful incubator programmes, support with e-commerce, connections to regional markets, and support for service businesses in addition to commodity brands. Nudge is already in talks with partners, from tech start-ups to international organizations, to offer these opportunities to all of its entrepreneurs — not just the six included in the Corner Shop pilot.
“I never thought that fairy godparents existed until I joined the Nudge community,” enthuses Shenelle Fife, CEO of De Jeunésse Bath and Body. Fife started the company while she was a student at The University of the West Indies to help pay for tuition. “My desire and ultimate goal for De Jeunésse is to become a household name, and a local brand competing eventually on the international market.”
Fife, as one of the entrepreneurs selected for the Nudge Corner Shop, is undoubtedly closer to achieving her goal.
Everyone involved in Nudge — from its designers to Massy Group senior management — is touched by the entrepreneurs’ courage to keep building. “Their resourcefulness, their belief in themselves and their businesses, and their ability to work through and find solutions to all of the challenges faced continues to amaze me,” says David Affonso, Executive Chairman of the Massy Group’s Integrated Retail Portfolio. “There is a lot here that we can learn from.”
“It is such a blessing to be a part of a team that genuinely cares about your success,” states Tricia Alexander, founder of Art Naturals: Soap and Spa Essentials, and member of the Nudge community. “I am empowered by the mindset that micro is mighty.”
To learn more about Nudge and to apply to the programme, visit nudgecaribbean.com
– Press release