Entries sought for GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund

GIMA is encouraging new businesses and innovators to consider entering the 2021 GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund. This year’s winner will be unveiled at garden trade event Glee, which is being held from 14-16 September at the NEC Birmingham.

Introduced in 2014 – and supported by Glee ever since – the fund offers the winner prize package which includes a grant of up to £6,000 and help with developing and marketing their product to the UK garden retail sector. Also included within this prize fund is a year’s full GIMA membership, plus a wide range of business support tools designed to help ease the journey into a new and unfamiliar marketplace, such as: free exhibition space at Glee and free PR support during the event; design, development and manufacturing or marketing cost support up to the value of £3,000; access to an industry business consultant; one-year ACID (Anti Copying In Design) membership; and a half page advert in the next GIMA Product Digest.

Since its inauguration, six winners have been crowned, all of which have gone on to witness significant core growth. Last year’s winner was Natural Grower, which was selected by the judges thanks to the potential of its Natural Liquid Fertiliser, which taps into the growing popularity of organic and veganic gardening. The judges said: “The product offering, and story behind the brand, is right on message and fits perfectly with the trends that are influencing category growth and consumer demands. An incredibly strong entry, Natural Grower offers well delivered products and a branding that stands out on the shelf. We’ve no doubt that retailers will be wanting to know more about Natural Grower.”

Since winning the GISCF in 2019 Natural Grower has enjoyed significant growth as the company’s Charlotte Beaty explains: “We launched our Natural Grower liquid fertiliser and soil conditioner for organic growers in February 2019, and with the support of the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund we have had a phenomenal response. Our products are approved by the Soil Association, OF&G, the Vegan Society and the BioDynamic Association. The organic and vegan movements have gained traction over the last year, with consumers looking for more environmentally friendly ways to garden. The GISCF enabled us to develop and expand the marketing of our products and we were able to pay for consultants to advise us on additional e-commerce opportunities. As a result, we were able to make the most of the shutdown period to promote and sell our products online.”

Talking ahead of this year’s unveiling of the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund – which will take place on the first day of Glee 2021 – GIMA director, Vicky Nuttall said: “I’m really excited to see what new innovations are emerging this year as gardening’s popularity increases. At GIMA, we are very keen to continue to support new and emerging businesses entering our sector as they are the lifeblood of the future.  Our Seed Corn Fund often gives these new businesses the kick start they need to succeed.”

Businesses interested in entering the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund in 2021 are invited to do so here. Online application forms need to be completed ahead of Friday 20 August 2021.

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