FedEx Launches SMB E-Commerce Education Program

Participants will receive a $2,000 grant to use towards their online business.

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Need to Know

  • The new FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab is designed to help 150 small business owners across the US develop or expand their online retail operations.
  • The program, in partnership with the nonprofit Accion Opportunity Fund, will focus on empowering women and entrepreneurs of color.
  • In addition to virtual seminars and coaching, Learning Lab participants will receive a $2,000 business grant to use towards their e-commerce business.

Analysis

As small businesses continue to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, FedEx has launched a new program providing e-commerce support, coaching, and funding.

The FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab will help 150 small business owners in the U.S. to develop or expand their e-commerce operations, through a series of seminars, workshops, and one-on-one coaching opportunities.

The program is being developed in partnership with the Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF), and will also offer free technical support, marketing assistance, and help with managing promotions, customer service, orders and fulfillment, and product photography. In addition, participants in the program will receive a $2,000 grant to help develop their online businesses. FedEx and AOF will also develop an online learning hub with on-demand courses, which will be available to any small business owner looking to gain new e-comm expertise.

The FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab program will focus specifically on assisting women and entrepreneurs of color, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“It is no secret that the pandemic has had a significant impact on small business owners, especially women and people of color,” Brie Carere, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx, said in a statement. “Through our new collaboration with AOF, we are helping to level the playing field and get these small businesses back on their feet, which is especially important as record growth in e-commerce volumes continue. With the launch of the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab, we’ll not only help individuals meet customer needs in new ways, but also provide comprehensive programming that will equip them with the tools to navigate through these uncertain times.”

Luz Urrutia, CEO of the Accion Opportunity Fund, added that the partnership is an “opportunity to help elevate the voices of entrepreneurs that often go unheard.”

By offering access to resources and opportunities and providing tailored support, we can prepare these communities for future growth and ultimately develop more equitable economic opportunities for a diverse range of businesses,” Urrutia continued.

The FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab program will take place over five months, beginning in September 2021, which will help participating businesses receive support during the busy holiday shopping season. In order to participate, businesses must not have an existing, active e-commerce presence, must produce and sell a packaged product, and must earn less than $500,000 in annual revenue.

FedEx has been strengthening its position as an e-comm expert throughout the pandemic, most recently through the acquisition of ShopRunner, which signaled the shipping company’s expansion into the e-commerce industry. The company has also been working to optimize its logistics processes, recently partnering with Adobe Commerce, which is that company’s online marketplace, to provide Adobe Commerce merchants with the ability to integrate with FedEx ShopRunner. Adobe Commerce merchants will be provided with post-purchase logistics data and customer insights from FedEx, which will help them better optimize their shipping and selling processes.

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