Q. Why is the Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy being launched?
Asda have made a firm commitment to supporting the growth, prominence and scale of the social enterprise sector across Wales. By providing training, mentoring and the opportunity, they’ll be able to fulfil this commitment and give their customers the option of spending their ‘social pounds’ on social enterprise products throughout their stores.
Q. How much is the grant for and what can I use it for?
We want as many social enterprises to apply as possible and we want to overcome, as much as we can, the barriers of cost. For this reason, Academy participants will receive a small grant that is intended to cover the cost of travel and other expenses that an organization might incur as a result of being away from the business. The amount granted will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Q. How will you support my social enterprise to get its product in Asda stores?
In addition to the Academy itself, which is a three day residential course held at Asda House Leeds, a specially assigned Program Manager will assigned to you as soon as you’ve been accepted on the program. They will work alongside you before, during and after and you’ll also receive valuable mentoring to help pitch your product to Asda.
Q. Are you only looking for enterprises supplying Food and Drink products?
We are interested in speaking to all social enterprises that are currently making products that could be sold in Asda stores. Whilst this is mainly food and drink Asda also sell a range of household and clothing products and are interested in speaking to social enterprises operating in these markets too.
Q. How much experience of producing goods for retail does my social enterprise need to have?
The Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy is the ideal opportunity for organizations that already have some knowledge and experience of producing and selling retail goods and want to scale up their operations. In the future, Asda hopes to expand the Academy to those organizations that are earlier in their journey. Put your case forward and Asda will make an assessment of your experience and aspirations and since it’ll only take a few minutes to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI), who knows where it might lead.
Q. Does attending the Academy guarantee me a place on Asda’s shelves?
The program is designed to provide the very best support, guidance and insight into the opportunities that exist for social enterprises to scale up their retail activity. Asda have made a commitment to source products from the social enterprise sector and are looking for goods to sell through their stores of the right type, quality and price. So whilst there can never be any guarantees, if that sounds like your organization and product, then you’ll have an unrivaled opportunity to have access to the buyers of the world’s largest business.
Q. Will my product feature in all Asda stores?
Opportunities exist to supply anything from one store to every store in the UK. We will work with you to make sure that this process is aligned with your capacity and ambitions.
Q. What assistance is available to help me finance the growth of my operations if I’m successful?
In addition to the Academy program, part of the monies raised through the plastic bag levy will be used to provide investment funds tailored around the needs of successful participants.
Q. What happens after my Expression of Interest (EOI) is submitted?
You have until midday on the 22nd April to submit your EOI. After that we’ll shortlist applicants to be interviewed in early May. Staff from both Asda and WCVA will conduct the interviews to find out more about your product, your plans for the future and your capacity to make it happen. At least two participants will be chosen to receive support from the Academy start receiving support.
Q. My organization is based in England. Will the Academy operate here too?
Asda hope to run similar support programs for social enterprises across the UK in due course.