Amazon and Enterprise Nation, the small business support network, have launched the ‘Amazon Small Business Accelerator’, a major support package for more than 200,000 small businesses and startups across the UK.
In response to Covid-19 and the “impact of the economic lockdown on small businesses”, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator will launch with a free online training programme to help 200,000 businesses at every stage.
Amazon said participants will also access “new benefits” designed to help them, ranging from discounts on business supplies and PPE from Amazon Business, to dedicated Amazon Web Services (AWS) training and partner offers.
Businesses can take a “quick online diagnostic” test to find the learning path that best fits with the current stage of their business – ‘Start’, ‘Grow’ or ‘Turbo’.
As part of the Accelerator, Amazon and Enterprise Nation said they will also run week-long “bootcamps” to provide additional, tailored personal training and expertise for up to 1,000 mostly offline startups and small businesses to help them trade online.
Businesses across fashion, beauty and wellbeing, food and drink, services, and home and leisure can join a five-day live online course with access to experts and peer-to-peer networking.
Bootcamp participants can also access 12 months of support from a wide range of accredited advisors covering topics on marketing, operations and managing finances as well as a range of benefits including discounts and credits from Amazon and partners.
Amazon added its first ever virtual Amazon Academy is taking place on Friday 26 June – a free two-hour event to introduce businesses to the world of selling online – ideal for people who want to learn more before they embark on the Amazon Small Business Accelerator.
Entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den investor Jenny Campbell will be sharing her business story and insights on what entrepreneurs should consider when looking for investments and scaling a business.
Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and by helping them we can help families, communities and the UK bounce back more quickly. We have a long track record of supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, with more than half of all products sold on Amazon stores coming from our selling partners.
“Many businesses have found their way through the crisis by providing goods and services online. Now the Amazon Small Business Accelerator with Enterprise Nation will provide thousands of offline and online businesses with the skills, tools and support they need to succeed in the digital world, to reach customers through Amazon or any other service.”
Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, added: “It is vital that small businesses are able to develop the digital skills they need to help connect with customers online, expand their offer and drive their company’s growth.
“So it’s great to see Amazon and Enterprise Nation joining forces to help thousands of small businesses and startups take full advantage of our dynamic digital economy. I encourage any entrepreneur or small business owner looking to boost their digital presence to get involved.”