Amazon’s accelerator programme aims to provide small businesses and startups in the UK with digital tools to recover lost income during the coronavirus crisis.
Launched in partnership with small business support network Enterprise Nation, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator will operate a free online training programme for 200,000 businesses.
The programme will feature a test to diagnose what stage of growth each business is at, whilst also offering a range of discounts and benefits from Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services and other outlets.
In addition, Amazon will also run a week-long bootcamp for up to 1,000 mostly offline businesses, to help them expand digitally and trade online. The five-day, live online course will include access to experts and networking with other businesses, as well as 12 months of support from advisers on marketing, operations and managing finances.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and by helping them, we can help families, communities and the UK bounce back more quickly,” commented Doug Gurr, Amazon’s UK country manager. “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.”
Emma Jones, head of Enterprise Nation, added: “Coronavirus has presented serious challenges for startups and SMEs, and never have more businesses called out for help, particularly with getting online. This package of critical support will include tailored guidance for startups, recovery advice and then tools for growth to help businesses weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.”
The programme comes as the EU is reportedly preparing to file formal charges against Amazon over its treatment of third-party sellers on its platform. The firm’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is also set to testify in front of a US Congress committee this summer as part of an inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by major technology firms.