Amazon, today, launched Small Business Academy. It is a combination of in-person classes and seminars that will be offered at rural community colleges alongside online webinars .
The goal of the Academy is to help thousands of entrepreneurs across the country succeed while at the same time not leaving rural communities behind.
The issue of rural communities and the digital divide is a growing concern, which is why Amazon’s emphasis in this area is so important. For example, in the emailed press release, Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President of Small Business, addressed this very point.
Denissen says, “Small businesses makeup 99.9% of U.S. businesses, employ almost 60 million people, and are the backbone of our economy. We’ve heard from many of them that they want help and guidance to take advantage of the power of the internet and digital business, particularly in rural areas.”
He goes on to say the focus of the Amazon Small Business Academy is to accelerate the digital capabilities of small businesses. Adding it doesn’t matter whether it is a brand-new company or one that has been in business for generations. Online success is key and will continue to be key for businesses of all sizes moving forward.
The range of educational initiatives from Amazon will help entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses succeed online.
With this academy, Amazon wants to give entrepreneurs the tools  they need to gain digital strategy and brand building skills. Why, because these skills are critical for any entrepreneurial venture in today’s digital ecosystem. By acquiring this knowledge now, it will serve you well on all of your entrepreneurial ventures in the digital world.
The academy is going to provide these lessons free through in-person seminar events and live webinars. It will also include community college classes across the country.
The Amazon Small Business Academy
The first Amazon Small Business Academy seminar is going to be held today (11/01/2019) in Southaven, Mississippi near Memphis, Tenn. Another seminar will take place in early December, with more to follow in 2020.
This event will give the more than 100 attendees insights, best practices, and how-to skills to start and grow a business online, or grow their business on the internet.
The next part of the academy takes place in community colleges. The classes will provide sixteen hours of beginner, intermediate and advanced content. The curriculum is created in collaboration with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) along with the program’s lead schools.
When classes begin in February 2020, they will cover the fundamentals of online business strategies, marketing, merchandising, inventory management, and more.
The classes will be available at Lorain County Community College in Elyria near Cleveland, Ohio; North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Mass.; State Center Community College District in partnership with Fresno City College, in Fresno, Calif.; Houston Community College in Houston, Texas; and Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo.
Additionally, Amazon will provide webinars with best practices for successful selling in Amazon stores and include live Q&A with experts. You can register for the initial webinar here .