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Amazon Announces Amazon Small Business Academy, A Wide-Ranging Initiative to Educate and Support Digital Entrepreneurs

By Henry Kronk
November 01, 2019

For entrepreneurs conducting business online, there’s a likelihood that they will come in contact with one of the many services Amazon provides. From their massive online marketplace to cloud computing services via AWS, Amazon’s digital infrastructure stretches far across the internet. On November 1, the company announced that they were going to take steps to facilitate business operations, especially for small- and medium-sized business, with the launch of the Amazon Small Business Academy.

The company says that, on average, SMBs sell roughly 4,000 items per minute on the Amazon marketplace. Amazon has frequently made forays into the online learning space in recent years.

Amazon Small Business Academy Will Include Online Webinars and In-Person Courses

“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, in a statement. “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.”

The Amazon Small Business Academy will include numerous initiatives, services, and tools that will be available both online and in-person. Over the coming months, the initiative will begin to host a series of free webinars to provide details about the ins and outs of doing business with Amazon. One can register to receive updates about those here.

In addition, the company also said that it had given a grant to the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) to help build courses and programs around digital entrepreneurship.

While Amazon did not disclose details of the grant, the curriculum has been finalized as a 16-hour course covering “fundamentals of online business strategies, marketing, merchandising, inventory management, and more.”

It will be available at NACCE lead schools Lorain County Community College outside of Cleveland, Ohio and North Idaho College, which is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The course is set to begin in the upcoming winter semester at these lead schools, along with four others around the country: Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo.; Houston Community College in Houston, Texas; Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass.; and with a joint collaboration between State Center Community College District and Fresno City College, in Fresno, Calif.

Supporting Community Colleges

“We’re thrilled to embark on this innovative program with Amazon,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president and CEO of NACCE, in a statement. “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.”

Over the course of this year, Amazon has also released over 150 digital tools and services for SMBs conducting business with Amazon and recently launched the Small Business Spotlight Awards.

The launch of Amazon Small Business Academy was announced on November 1 during an event in Southaven, Miss. where Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) delivered a speech.

“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.”

Featured Image: Tony Webster, Flickr.

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