Cinzia Cozzolino, owner of Nutrition Darling, explains how an interest-free loan from RMIT's New Enterprise Investment Fund allowed her to transform her business.
A passionate nutritionist, Cozzolino shares her journey and why she is determined to change the way we start the day.
Tell me about your business.
I’m a nutritionist by trade and it all started because of my passion for getting my daughters to eat healthier. This spawned an idea on how I could start getting people to eat healthier and I saw this as a business problem.
I started out selling homemade raw organic cakes and breakfast muesli to local cafes and health shops, this eventually grew and I was supplying more than 30 businesses.
During this phase I developed Smoothie Bombs; an organic and halal-certified nutritious ball which contains 10 organic healthy ingredients. All you need to do is add a piece of fruit and your milk of choice and blend away! It’s a great solution for a quick and nutritious start to anyone’s day.
How did you find out about New Enterprise Investment Fund (NEIF)?
I started off studying the Certificate IV in Small Business Management through the NEIS program because I wanted to refine my business skills. I had a basic idea with the raw slices and muesli which was going well but I needed to take it to the next level.
Through the course I was put onto NEIF, where I was able to pitch my business idea in front of the board which included Eddie Maguire. It sure was an experience but my nutritious food sold them and I was granted funding!
What made you decide to apply?
I was hand-making the products and it was an extremely lengthy and time consuming processes. I was producing 150 balls per hour by hand. By chance through research I found this machine that produced 1000 balls per hour; my business was growing and I was definitely ready to expand and upscale my business due to the demand.
Through the funding I was able to get the machine which has helped my business grow in to Asia. My products are currently stocked in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. A recent highlight for me was when a royal family in Dubai placed an order for 250 tubes!
Any tips to future applicants?
- Seeking help with an accountant is definitely something I would recommend, especially to help with forecasting and planning out goals.
- Social media backing – I was fortunate enough to be endorsed by some big brands which connected me to many followers. They helped elevate my brand and established a community that embraced my product.
- And lastly perseverance is key! There will be days where you will be on the floor crying in the foetal position but there will be other days where you are fist pumping!
Do you have a business idea? Could you use $25,000 to kick start your enterprise? Find out more about the New Enterprise Investment Fund.
Story: Rita Truong