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City of Sydney Business Innovation Program

About Business Innovation Program

The City of Sydney Business Innovation Program, delivered by Disruptors Co in the first half of 2024, aimed to empower small businesses through innovation and strategic growth. This comprehensive 12-week program included live and online sessions, discussions, and one-on-one coaching, featuring leaders from the business, social enterprise, and startup communities. With an emphasis on practical application, the program concluded with a showcase event where participants presented their growth plans to potential customers and investors.

Between week one and now, something has shifted in me.
I’m remembering why I started (my business) and why I am doing this.

Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray Designs

The City of Sydney Business Innovation Program demonstrated the power of innovation and strategic support in transforming small businesses. By fostering a collaborative and practical learning environment, the program enabled participants to navigate economic challenges, implement meaningful innovations, and set the stage for sustainable growth.


The businesses selected for the program faced significant hurdles, including:

Economic Pressure

Many participants were grappling with challenging economic conditions, including high rents, lower consumer demand, and mismatches between product and market.

Innovation Readiness

There was a broad range of understanding and readiness for innovation, with some businesses needing fundamental shifts in their operations and others requiring incremental adjustments.

Digital Literacy

Digital skills varied widely among participants, with some businesses needing to establish basic digital infrastructure while others were ready to delve into advanced AI tools.

Resource Constraints

Time and resource limitations were common, making it difficult for business owners to attend sessions, implement learnings, and drive growth simultaneously.

Cultural and Demographic Diversity

The cohort included a high percentage of female founders, migrants, and First Nations participants, adding layers of complexity to their unique business challenges and support needs.

Our Approach

To address these challenges, Disruptors Co implemented a structured yet flexible program designed to meet the diverse needs of the participants.

Foundation and Bootcamp

The program began with a two-day intensive bootcamp, setting the foundation for the subsequent sessions.
This immersive experience included:

  • Business Model Evaluation: Detailed assessment of current business models.
  • Digital Skills Development: Workshops on leveraging digital tools and technologies.
  • Innovation Strategy Workshops: Practical sessions on implementing innovation methodologies.
Live Learning and Expert Sessions

Participants attended 36 hours of face-to-face learning, supplemented by five hours of remote Q&A sessions. Expert sessions covered various topics, including:

  • AI and Digital Transformation: Practical use of AI tools like ChatGPT and MidJourney.
  • Marketing and Customer Engagement: Strategies for effective marketing and customer relationship management.
  • Financial Planning and Management: Comprehensive financial planning workshops.
Coaching and Peer Networking

The program featured fortnightly one-on-one coaching sessions and group “Ask Me Anything” sessions, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment. A vibrant WhatsApp group facilitated continuous peer networking and support.

Showcase Event

The culmination of the program was a trade show-style showcase event, where participants presented their business innovations to an audience of potential customers, investors, and industry experts.


Participants tested and implemented 84 innovations during the program.


Community and Networking

A strong sense of community and support was fostered throughout the program. Participants formed valuable connections, supported each other’s businesses, and continued to collaborate beyond the program. This network provided a crucial support system, enabling participants to share resources, insights, and encouragement.

Increased Digital Literacy

The program significantly improved digital literacy among participants, particularly in leveraging AI tools

Enhanced Business Models

The program successfully equipped businesses with innovation methodologies and helped them reassess and refine their business models.

High Satisfaction Rates

The program received high satisfaction ratings, with positive feedback on coaching, content and overall experience.

Learn more about the participants in Business Innovation Program.

Innovate on purpose

Phone Number

+61 421 470 365



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