FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab helps businesses expand operations
Powered by nonprofit Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF) and e-commerce consultancy 37 Oaks, the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab is designed to help diverse small business owners who are looking to develop or expand their e-commerce operations as they continue to adapt their business models in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on women and entrepreneurs of color.
This four-month program provides 150 small business owners across the U.S. with a hands-on learning experience that could help boost their holiday sales and integrate technology into the growth of their businesses. They will receive free technical support in setting up and maintaining their virtual stores, as well as support with marketing, managing promotions, customer service, managing orders and fulfillments, and product photography. Participants will also receive a $2,000 business grant to launch and grow their e-commerce business. In addition, AOF and FedEx will also develop a series of virtual seminars on more advanced e-commerce topics, as well as an online learning hub featuring on-demand virtual learning courses, open to any small business owner seeking to expand their e-commerce expertise.
As a result of more consumers shopping online during the pandemic, eMarketer reports that e-commerce volumes grew by 33 percent in 2020*. Through this program, FedEx hopes to connect diverse small businesses with the tools, resources, and experts that can help them navigate online sales and forge a new path to growth.
FedEx and AOF have a longstanding relationship and have worked closely to connect diverse entrepreneurs with the capital and know-how they need to build a better future. In the U.S., FedEx is helping AOF connect more underserved small-business owners with loans, and in Colombia, FedEx is funding a program to give low-income, low-literacy female entrepreneurs the skills necessary to earn a living through business ownership.
*eMarketer, Oct. 12, 2020