Amazon Offers Sustainable Cash to SMBs

Amazon, which hosts a huge marketplace for small businesses, is playing its good housekeeping seal hand and wants to grant small businesses $20,000 if they’re into sustainability. The offering includes both cash and access to the Amazon Launchpad platform. 

The program is called “Products for Tomorrow”. The awards are open to U.S. small businesses that sell physical products. According to the release announcing the awards, winning requires that the physical products must be “innovative, desirable, and sustainable.” Judging will consider the following attributes and criteria:

  • How effective is the product at solving a problem?
  • How does the product fill a need in a new or interesting way?
  • How well does the product fill a gap in the market and is it an affordable option?
  • How well does the product lessen the environmental impact vs. other products?

Amazon is making the awards open to products that may or may not be active on Amazon. The company says it is open to new products. It will also consider those that have been listed on Amazon for less than four years. In addition, the applying businesses must generate less than $5 million in gross merchandise to quality. 

So What’s Amazon Launchpad?

On top of the $20,000 cash grant, awarded businesses get access to Amazon Launchpad. Launchpad is targeted at small businesses. It includes Amazon adding products to newsletters and special small business sections. In addition, Amazon is offering a “badge” of sustainability to gain the attention of consumers who value efforts to improve the environment. 

Cyrus Wadia, director of Product Sustainability at Amazon said this.

“We know customers want more-sustainable products, and we’ve set out to deliver this through large programs like Climate Pledge Friendly and Amazon Aware. As we grow these programs, we are constantly looking for ways to support our smaller selling partners and brands. Products for Tomorrow allows us to reward innovative products with sustainability attributes from smaller brands, and provide them additional support to connect to our larger retail shopping programs.”

The Sustainability Generation

Last October, The Global Sustainability Study 2021 from global strategy and pricing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners pointed to a growing interest among consumers in sustainable products.

In particular, the study found that85 percent of people indicate that they have shifted their purchase behavior towards being more sustainable in the past five years. However, we observe meaningful generational differences in attitude.

When looking at both Baby Boomers and Generation X, 24 percent across each have significantly changed their behavior towards being more sustainable — this figure climbs to 32 percent for Millennials. Additionally, one-third of Millennials will choose a sustainable alternative when available, whereas older generations are less likely to actively choose sustainable alternatives (24-29 percent).

These findings are not surprising. The younger you are the more you will value sustainability. This makes sense. After all, their future is more at risk than it is for older consumers.

The submission deadline is August 18. 

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