“I’m delighted to see the Amazon Academy working with DIT to help boost exports in the North East and help businesses of all sizes to seize the global opportunities on offer.”
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion

Today we officially opened registrations for the first Amazon Academy event in Newcastle, taking place on Tuesday 5th June at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Forth Street.

The event will feature advice and help for local SMEs from experts in business, technology, marketing and more from Amazon, Enterprise Nation, the Department for International Trade and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership – as well as a host of small businesses who have achieved their own e-commerce and export success.

“I’m delighted to see the Amazon Academy working with DIT to help boost exports in the North East and help businesses of all sizes to seize the global opportunities on offer,” said Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion. “This includes an increase in the export finance support on offer and the launch of new online tools to help companies match their products with potential new markets.”

Since launching in 2016, the Amazon Academy has helped over a thousand SMEs and entrepreneurs in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester learn how to grow their businesses through greater digital adoption, and forms parts of our ongoing efforts to help SMEs from across the UK grow their business, in particular by boosting their e-commerce and export sales.

The Amazon Academy comes during a time when SMEs in the North East are expecting to grow their revenues in the next 12 months, despite business confidence in the region remaining low.

Our SME Growth Tracker found in Q1 this year that whilst North East businesses predict higher growth of 1.6 per cent in the coming 12 months compared to 0.9 per cent in the last 12 months, their Confidence Index score for business conditions dropped 3 points to -5 from December, going against the national trend. Against that backdrop of low confidence however, small local businesses who use e-commerce project faster overall revenue growth in the coming 12 months than those that don’t use e-commerce, with North East SMEs surveyed showing the joint highest rates of digital adoption in the country (69 per cent) alongside those in the West Midlands.

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership added: “The North East is a fantastic place to do business, and events like the Amazon Academy will help propel SMEs in our region to the next level by helping them learn how to export their goods and services around the world. It’s fantastic to welcome Amazon and Enterprise Nation to Newcastle for what’s sure to be an engaging, informative and educational event for business owners of all shapes and sizes.”