Helping SMEs export and use innovation to grow their business were the main themes today at our Amazon Academy held at the EICC in Edinburgh. Hundreds of SMEs, entrepreneurs, and tech startups from around Scotland came to hear about how Scottish businesses can tap into the digital economy from experts including: Emma Jones MBE, Founder of Enterprise Nation; Paul Wheelhouse, Managing Director of Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise; Gayle Mann, Head of Enablement for Entrepreneurial Spark; Katie Dash, Regional Director of CBI Scotland; Frances Sneddon from ScotlandIS; and Lynn Mann representing Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Emma Jones opened the day, talking about the importance of exporting for small businesses: “Scotland is a great place to run a business with strong heritage and a skilled workforce. With the uncertainty of Brexit and the resulting uncertain UK economic landscape, it’s really important to spread your risk and broaden your customer base.”

Graeme Smith, Managing Director of our Development Centre in Edinburgh talked about the innovation his team do, and how that helps SMEs reach hundreds of millions of customers on a global scale: “A big theme for our inventions in Edinburgh is helping to personalise the customer experience, and helping customers all around the world to discover products they’ll love. That’s great for customers, great for Amazon and great for businesses who are selling – or want to sell - on Amazon. The work of my team is just one of a series of ways in which we at Amazon aspire to support small businesses. And that’s because small businesses are key to Amazon’s success.”

Small business owners also participated in workshops throughout the afternoon on:

• How to boost export sales and go global on Amazon

• How to use innovation to scale your business through Amazon Web Services

• How to bring innovative new products to market through Amazon Launchpad

• How to reach new customers through Alexa, Amazon’s exciting new cloud-based voice service.

Click here to see a video about how Amazon services benefit small businesses.