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Amazon Launches the Amazon Small Business Academy

Amazon Launches the Amazon Small Business Academy

Amazon launched the Amazon Small Business Academy on Friday, a range of educational initiatives to help entrepreneurs, startups, and business owners succeed online. The program includes free in-person seminar events and live webinars, as well as community college classes across the country.

A spokesperson told EcommerceBytes the Academy’s first seminar is taking place held today in Southaven, Mississippi featuring special guest speaker US Senator Roger Wicker and Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President of Small Business.

The initiative “strengthens Amazon’s commitment to empowering small businesses, which make up 99.9% of U.S. businesses and employ almost 60 million people,” according to Amazon’s announcement in which it cited the Small Business Administration.

Amazon said US-based small- and medium-sized businesses sell over 4,000 items per minute on average in Amazon’s stores. “Overall, independent third-party sellers – primarily small and medium-sized businesses – made up 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon’s stores last year and their sales far exceeded $2 billion on Prime Day in July this year.”

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, build their brand, and grow sales. The initiatives includes in-person seminars, community college courses, and webinars.

“Small businesses make up 99.9% of U.S. businesses, employ almost 60 million people, and are the backbone of our economy. We’ve heard from many of them that they want help and guidance to take advantage of the power of the internet and digital business, particularly in rural areas,” said Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President of Small Business. “Amazon Small Business Academy is focused on accelerating small business’ digital capabilities, whether they are a brand new company or one that has been in business for generations.”

Today in Southaven, Mississippi near Memphis, Tenn., 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 more than 100 attendees with insights, best practices, and how-to skills to start and grow a business online, or expand 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 driving force behind economic growth in Mississippi and across America,” said Senator Wicker. “The Amazon Small Business Academy will empower more small businesses to succeed, particularly in rural states, through digital tools and broadband access.”

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 instruction of digital business courses in community college classrooms around the country. The classes will cover the fundamentals of online business strategies, marketing, merchandising, inventory management, and more.

The curriculum will provide sixteen hours of beginner, intermediate and advanced content, created in collaboration with NACCE and the program’s lead 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 the lead schools, as well as Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass.; State Center Community College District in partnership with Fresno City College, in Fresno, Calif.; Houston Community College in Houston, Texas; and Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo.

“We’re thrilled to embark on this innovative program with Amazon,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president and CEO of NACCE, the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, representing more than 325 community and technical colleges and 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators and presidents who serve more than three million students. “Community colleges provide valuable content and programming for both aspiring and current small business owners. This Amazon grant will help NACCE and the schools foster the next generation of businesses to power the U.S. economy.”

The Amazon Small Business Academy program also offers webinars to help current and aspiring small business owners throughout the country gain digital skills. The online seminars will provide best practices for successful selling in Amazon stores and include live Q&A with experts. Registration is open for an initial webinar here.

Altogether, U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses sell on average more than 4,000 items per minute in Amazon’s stores. Overall, independent third-party sellers – primarily small and medium-sized businesses – made up 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon’s stores last year and their sales far exceeded $2 billion on Prime Day in July this year.

In little more than a year, U.S. companies with products in Amazon Storefronts, a curated destination to shop exclusively from American small and medium-sized businesses, have sold more than 250 million items to more than 70 million unique customers.

Amazon has released more than 150 tools and services in 2019 to help independent small and medium-sized businesses grow their sales online, which is part of the more than $15 billion the company is on track to invest this year in the success of its selling partners.

Amazon recently announced the finalists for its first-ever Small Business Spotlight Awards, an awards program established this year to honor and celebrate top entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country selling in Amazon’s stores. Customers can vote for the winners through November 8.

To learn more about the millions of small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores, visit AboutAmazon.com/supporting-small-businesses.

SOURCE: Amazon Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “Amazon Launches the Amazon Small Business Academy”

  1. Tragic Irony – the very entity that has literally destroyed small business, directly competes with it to drive prices into the basement, make competition impossible, raised shipping and handling standards to inhuman (they don’t even meet their own standard) and then just take over out of the rubble – is now claiming to want to help? Is this some PR move designed to fool politicians of lukewarm intelligence? Anyone who is running a retail business is already online, or dead. Amazon wants to “help” alright. Join them, go all-in on their platform exclusively, feed them your products and data, pay them ridiculous commissions on the products for the “privilege”, so they can find your best sellers, make “amazon basics” products out of them, help spawn 100 chinese copycats afterwards, and just kill your business. They aren’t here to help, that’s for sure – and the idea they are infiltrating colleges deemed as a “constant” or a “force for good” is further disturbing. “the next generation of businesses to power the U.S. economy.” will be amazon and walmart and nothing else, if antitrust investigations don’t hurry up and shed some light on this crap.

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