Primed to Thrive program

La Trobe University is inviting small business-owners to apply for a free online program designed to help them adapt and grow in the face of COVID-19.

Second round of free program to help small businesses adapt and innovate

Primed to Thrive is funded by Business Victoria and developed in partnership with Investible, a leading early-stage investment group and experts in entrepreneurial and business development.

Delivered fully online and at no cost to participants, the program will support small business across a wide range of sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and fitness, retail, manufacturing and the arts.

Over the eight weeks, you’ll receive insights from experts in business development, sales, retail, ecommerce and digital marketing, gain access to powerful templates and learn how new digital tools can help you attract customers and grow into the future.

You’ll also gain access to growing virtual library of expert-led resources on key topics including Digital Strategy, Analytics, Email Marketing, SEO & SEM, Social Media, Storytelling and more.

This program is part of suite of courses La Trobe has offered in recent months to help businesses and individuals recover from the impact of COVID-19, including a free online leadership program delivered by the University’s renowned MBA program.

What does the program offer business owners?

Expert insights & guidance
Learn what you need to move forward into a new digital age with confidence and supercharge your business, sales, marketing, and communication strategies.

Flexible remote learning
Participate from anywhere with virtual expert workshops, online learning modules and downloadable templates developed by the business development experts at Investible.

Supportive community  
Join a private Facebook community of like-minded business owners who understand the challenges and opportunities ahead, to share feedback, support and continued learning.


Easy registrations process opens on Monday 28 September and closed on Monday 12 October.
The program commences on Monday 19 October and concludes on Friday 11 December 2020.

Testimonials and Case Studies

This business came into the program with wholesale and retail store front and was conflicted about their business model. During COVID-19, their business has shut the store front and is exploring larger wholesale distribution through Woolworths/Coles (currently reviewing the margins) and launched Shopify site to sell packs direct to consumer. They have since seen significant traction with this model so far.

This ethical furniture manufacturer serves workplaces in all major corporates across Australia. This business came into the program to test/launch a new concept called Koskela on Demand, working with property developers with supplying furniture packages for their build to rent models. This business secured a 500-unit pilot with Mirvac during the program which is on hold due to COVID-19. They have now pivoted to manufacturing affordable home office furniture, shut down retail store and sells purely online.


The COVID-19 Industry Response Program is designed to support a wide variety of small to medium businesses across Victoria.  Business owners from all major industries and sectors are encouraged to apply, including food & beverage, hospitality, fashion, beauty, home goods, furniture, manufacturing and more.

For this program, there is a particular emphasis on regional businesses so we strongly encourage you to apply if you are a regionally based business. Participants in previous programs have been in business between 2 and 20+ years.

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has changed the world. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, many business owners and manufacturers feel uncertain about the future.

To succeed, businesses must adapt and innovate. The COVID-19 Industry Response Program is uniquely designed to help business leaders develop the mindset, resources and community they need to adapt and innovate in the face of unprecedented change.

  • Digital Strategy Planning
  • Google; Platforms plugins and tools
  • Analytics and data
  • SEO & SEM
  • Digital Content and Storytelling
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Marketing

The course has been designed so that once the deadline for registrations close, and access to the course materials open, you will be able to work through the online modules and resources. By designing our program in this way we ensure as much flexibility for participants as possible.

We trust that by providing the delivery in this format, we can support as many different businesses and business models as possible.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a key focus within La Trobe University's Industry and Engagement strategy. Within our range of programs, we have supported over 111 start-ups over the past three years.

La Trobe University is looking to help equip small to medium businesses pivot and accelerate through COVID-19 in addition to delivering programs to inspire entrepreneurial mindsets within our staff, students and academics.

Investible is a leading early-stage investor and one of Australia’s most active Venture Capital firms at seed stage.

Investible is the first investment firm in Australia to bring early-stage investment together with proven entrepreneurial development programs under one roof.

Its comprehensive suite of unique business-building and pre-investment programs that continue to support business across Australia and Southeast Asia.

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