Innovation Project Summary Cookhouse LabS
Empowering Small Businesses with IoT for Improved Financial Management Experience
How might we make small businesses more financially resilient for future extreme events like COVID-19?
Use the Internet of Things (IoT) to assist small business owners in the food industry with financial management to improve profitability and reduce bankruptcy.
Understanding Fiona, a small business owner in Toronto
The global pandemic has been challenging for small businesses, especially those in the restaurant industry, often driving them to the point of bankruptcy and permanent closure. The data derived from an IoT solution will support insurers in creating better tailored business interruption products for small business owners.
Business owners resort to cost-cutting as a result of the current economic impact, leading to many employee layoffs.
How can we empower small business owners to better forecast inventory demands to reduce wastage?
How can we create a supportive environment for small business owners during these challenging times?
How can we leverage existing resources (e.g. employees) to identify alternative revenue streams?
The team ideated many IoT-powered solutions to tackle this challenge and quickly selected the winning idea: a financial planning tool with elements of community and skill development.
How might the Internet of Things (IoT) assist small business owners with their financial management to improve profitability and reduce bankruptcy?
A survival-driven bankruptcy solution for sustainable small businesses. The mobile app balances financial planning with community support and learning resources through the following features:
A community forum where small business owners can connect to share their experiences and learnings.
A community pool where owners can seek financial support and loans during severe economic hardship.
This feature links to e-learning resources focused on employee skill development to keep up with market demands.
A machine learning assistant that monitors your inventory and wastage. The feature also reports on industry trends and provides sales forecasts.
The team worked closely with small business owners in China and Canada to further develop this much-needed solution.
More Co-creation Sprints
We also offer intro sessions that provide insurance professionals with the opportunity to experience our Cookhouse Labs methodology and a sneak peek at what it’s like to co-create and collaborate with our global community. If you are not a Cookhouse Labs member and are interested in finding out more, check out our membership benefits!