International Trade

Small businesses share their highlights from the Amazon Academy in Newcastle

4 min read

20 August 2018

Former special projects journalist

Three SME leaders tell us what they got out of attending the Amazon Academy in Newcastle, an event designed to help small businesses get savvy online.

Newcastle recently played host to the latest Amazon Academy, a series of events aimed at helping small businesses start up and scale online.

The Academies gather together small businesses who have been there and done it all before, as well as exporting specialists with expertise in a range of areas, from warehousing and logistics to intellectual property and marketing.

Real Business caught up with some of the delegates from the day after the event to find out what they took away from the Academy.

If you missed the Academy, you can see all of Real Business’ event coverage here, and there is still time to book your place at Amazon Academy Cardiff, which will be held this September.

An opportunity to learn

Alexandra Edgar is a freelance makeup artist, and she was particularly impressed by the speakers on the day.

“The speakers were so engaging and interesting. The event was expertly planned and the audience were able to ask plenty of questions, the speakers giving truly genuine and helpful answers. There was such a mix of talent across different industries I learned such a lot of new information,” she said.

Edgar also enjoyed hearing the business stories from real entrepreneurs – and in particular the focus the event had on representing companies at all stages of the business lifecycle. Entrepreneurs shared stories of their initial startup struggles, right through to their scale up and growth stages.

You can read our interviews with the featured businesses here: Second Nature, Cheeky Panda, Trtl, Cocorose and Torro.

Getting the knack of selling online

For Dr Craig Rose, MD of Seaweed & Co., a seaweed ingredients producer, the Amazon Academy event was “an incredible opportunity to learn”.

Having been a B2B business for the past three years, supplying seaweed ingredients to food and nutrition companies, the business has now expanded with its B2C brand, “Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful”.

“Amazon is the ideal place for us to complement more traditional market places, and reach people anywhere at any time,” explained Rose.

“The event itself was extremely impressive, with brilliant speakers, useful talks, and very knowledge Amazon staff on hand all day. Overall, it really cemented our belief in the importance of trading via Amazon.”

The Amazon Academy provides practical tips to help businesses start selling on Amazon Marketplace, including how to get started with Fulfilment by Amazon to take the hassle out of logistics services for those businesses selling overseas.

You can read more about setting up your company page here.

Knowledge in action 

As well as inspirational stories from the businesses that have made a success on Amazon Marketplace, the Academy also provides workshops and real, practical advice to help businesses get to the next level.

Meg Ellis from Jetpack, a pay as you go PA service, learned a lot about selling online at the Academy, as well as more general business learning, and has taken practical steps to grow her business following the event.

“The Amazon Academy opened my eyes to the opportunities of exporting and selling online. It made me consider the power of utilising business opportunities further than my doorstep and connected me with like-minded business people in the North East. These connections have led to me now having an office to work in and new customer enquiries,” she said.

The next Amazon Academy takes place on 11 September at Celtic Manor, Wales. To learn more and register for free click here.