Scores of businesses across the region have been benefitting from the new Nudge and Massy Stores platform which allows them to learn about branding, packaging, sales, etc. Details follow in this press release. 

This year, the social entrepreneurship platform Nudge, in collaboration with Massy Stores, has helped secure the Caribbean-wide success of over 60 small businesses. Despite the world’s many disruptions, including inclement weather and the ongoing pandemic, artisans from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia benefitted from dedicated mentorship, marketing, and strategic placement on Massy Stores shelves.  

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Nudge Corner Shop was introduced to resounding success. Moving from a temporary space to a specially designed, semi-permanent gondolas in prime locations, local entrepreneurs expanded audiences, scaled their businesses, and learned to compete at the heightened level necessary for continued development.  

“While the dream is to grow and to scale, the journey is hard,” shares Shenelle De Fife, owner of rising body product brand De Jeunésse. “As my sales grow and customer base expands, I’m pressed to get better at production planning, financial projections, cash flows, SKU rationalisation, tamper-proofing, and barcoding. I hadn’t thought about these things in too much detail before.” 

Through Nudge, participants learned about the best practices of running and elevating a business, including branding, packaging, quality control, budgeting and sales. “Being coached by Massy Stores retail experts has really helped me grow sustainably,” De Fife admits. 

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs in Barbados and St. Lucia hope to learn from the model as it is perfected in Trinidad and Tobago. Market stalls showcasing local, often handmade products have been launched in these countries, faithfully staffed by Nudge Ambassadors who enthusiastically communicate each product’s selling points. Nudge products also benefit from in-store promotions — an effort to encourage customers to rally around goods made by their own communities. 

As any savvy business owner knows, the opportunity to stock a product on a shelf does not necessarily guarantee its success. This is why, through a flexible process of knowledge and skills-sharing, Nudge seeks to teach, learn from and share strategies with its cohorts — and is increasingly wowed by their demonstrations of resilience.  

“All companies started at some point as someone’s dream,” explains David Affonso, Executive Chairman, Integrated Retail Portfolio, at the Massy Group of Companies. In Trinidad and Tobago, where Affonso is based, he has shared his time and experience with the six entrepreneurs selected from the Nudge pool for its Corner Shop pilot. 

“But it takes that belief in self, commitment, courage and all the rest of it to achieve success,” he continues. “We have an obligation to give back to the communities and countries where we operate.” 

After two years of ardent planning, entrepreneur Anya Ayoung-Chee and Julie Avey, SVP People and Culture at Massy Group, launched Nudge in July 2020. The social enterprise received US$1 million of funding from the Massy Group of Companies after proving its transformative potential. Less than two years later, it has truly lived its #MicroIsMighty mantra — opening the gates of entry for homegrown businesses to access bigger markets.  

“For some of our community, growing sales and being a permanent supplier to Massy Stores is the dream,” Avey states. “For others, showcasing their product to a wider customer base has led to an order book that will give more confidence for future sales. I have learned so much and it is clear that we must listen to the needs of the entrepreneurs. We can’t assume that we always know what is needed.”  

“I really hope Nudge can influence other corporations to invest in this way and to recognize the value in doing this kind of work,” adds Ayoung-Chee.  

Massy Stores, the leading supermarket in the English-speaking Caribbean, has been influential in making space — literally — for entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago and across the region. With a mission of being a “Force for Good. Creating Value. Transforming Lives,” it aims to bring hope to customers, clients, and staff who can see examples of locally made products journeying from shelf to sale.  

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Nudge Corner Shop, featuring Immortelle Beauty, Galt and Maree, Cocoa Dreams Estate, Aviaire Body, De Jeunésse, and Art Naturals: Soap and Spa Essentials, at Massy Stores in Trincity, Gulf View, Marabella, Maraval, Aylce Glen and Westmoorings, is live until mid-November.  

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