Thank you to Amazon for sharing the vision and for the work you are here to do today at the Academy.
Amazon’s mission is to “invent every day to help people discover and buy anything, and empower individuals and businesses to succeed”. As such, a key part of our mission is to help grow businesses as well, because they help us better serve our customers. So building the digital skills of small businesses is crucial to delivering that mission and the internet and technology have a big role to play in helping foster small businesses growth across the UK.
That’s why we decided to run the Amazon Academy. We want to democratise the ability to start a business or become an author, levelling the playing field for big and small, urban and rural, start-up or mature businesses. We believe a small seller or author working out of their home should have the same opportunity to reach millions of customers around the world as well-established UK retailers and publishers. As such, Amazon focuses its efforts on building and running reliable, trusted and scalable services that help to empower UK business and content creators in the digital economy.
Amazon Academies offer practical support to help small businesses succeed in the digital economy. Small businesses and content creators from across the UK attend for free to get insight from experts on issues affecting their business, and to get practical ‘how to’ advice on:
• Getting their business online to boost revenue, geographic reach and productivity
• Reaching new customers by exporting across the globe
• Scaling their digital infrastructure to successfully grow their business
• The business of being an author
Our first ever UK Amazon Academy was held in November 2016, Central London, in partnership with the Guardian Small Business Network and Enterprise Nation, and saw over 200 small business owners and content creators attend. Small businesses that attended heard from Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager; Emma Jones MBE, the Founder of Enterprise Nation; and Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, as well as from successful authors and small business owners who have benefitted from the digital economy.