Amazon on Friday launched the Amazon Small Business Academy, a range of educational initiatives to help entrepreneurs, startups and business owners succeed online. The program includes free in-person seminars and live webinars, as well as classes at community colleges across the country.
A spokesperson told EcommerceBytes that the Academy’s first seminar was being held today in Southaven, Mississippi, with special guest speaker U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and Nicholas Denissen, Amazon’s vice president for small businesses.
The initiative “reinforces Amazon’s commitment to empowering small businesses, which make up 99.9% of American businesses and employ nearly 60 million people,” according to Amazon’s announcement citing the Small Business Administration.
Amazon said US-based small and medium-sized businesses sell more than 4,000 items per minute on average in Amazon stores. “Overall, independent third-party sellers – mostly small and medium-sized businesses – accounted for 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon stores last year and their sales well exceeded $2 billion on Prime Day in July of this year.”
The press release follows:
Amazon today announced a range of Amazon Small Business Academy programs to help small businesses harness the power of the internet to reach more customers, grow their brand and increase sales. Initiatives include in-person seminars, community college classes, and webinars.
“Small businesses represent 99.9% of American businesses, employ nearly 60 million people, and are the backbone of our economy. Many of them have told us they want help and advice on leveraging the power of the internet and digital businesses, especially in rural areas,” said Nicholas Denissen, Vice President of ‘Amazon Small Business. “Amazon Small Business Academy is focused on accelerating the digital capabilities of small businesses, whether it’s a brand new business or one that’s been in business for generations.”
Today in Southaven, Mississippi, near Memphis, Tennessee, Amazon is hosting its first Amazon Small Business Academy event, featuring special guest speaker, U.S. Senator Roger F. Wicker. The free seminar will provide over 100 attendees with ideas, best practices, and practical skills for starting and growing an online business, or growing an existing business on the Internet. The company’s next Amazon Small Business Academy seminar will be held in December, with more events planned for 2020.
“Small business owners and entrepreneurs are the engine of economic growth in Mississippi and across America,” said Senator Wicker. “The Amazon Small Business Academy will empower more small businesses to succeed, especially in rural states, with digital tools and access to broadband.”
The Amazon Small Business Academy program also includes a grant to the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) to help fund curriculum development and the teaching of digital business courses in community college classrooms across the country. . Courses will cover the fundamentals of online business strategies, marketing, merchandising, inventory management, and more.
The program will offer sixteen hours of beginner, intermediate, and advanced content, created in conjunction with NACCE and the program’s core schools: Lorain County Community College in Elyria near Cleveland, Ohio and North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Classes will begin in February 2020 at mainstream schools, as well as at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass.; State Center Community College District in partnership with Fresno City College, in Fresno, California; Houston Community College in Houston, Texas; and Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado.
“We are thrilled to embark on this innovative program with Amazon,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., President and CEO of NACCE, the leading national organization focused on fostering entrepreneurship through community colleges, representing over 325 community and technical colleges. and 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators, and presidents who serve more than three million students. “Community colleges offer valuable content and programs to aspiring and current small business owners. This grant from Amazon will help NACCE and schools encourage the next generation of businesses to power America’s economy. »
The Amazon Small Business Academy program also offers webinars to help current and future small business owners across the country learn digital skills. The webinars will provide best practices for selling successfully on Amazon stores and include live Q&As with experts. Registration is open for a first webinar here.
In total, US-based small and medium businesses sell an average of more than 4,000 items per minute in Amazon stores. Overall, independent third-party sellers – mostly small and medium-sized businesses – accounted for 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon stores last year and their sales well exceeded $2 billion on Prime Day in July this year.
In just over a year, U.S. businesses offering products in Amazon Storefronts, a curated destination to buy exclusively from U.S. small and medium businesses, sold more than 250 million items to more than 70 million unique customers. .
Amazon launched more than 150 tools and services in 2019 to help independent small and medium-sized businesses grow their online sales, part of the more than $15 billion the company is set to invest this year in the success of its business partners. .
Amazon recently announced the finalists for its first-ever Small Business Spotlight Awards, an awards program created this year to honor and celebrate the nation’s top entrepreneurs and small businesses selling in Amazon stores. Customers can vote for the winners until November 8.
To learn more about the millions of small and medium businesses selling in Amazon stores, visit AboutAmazon.com/supporting-small-businesses.
THE SOURCE: Amazon press release