The 2021 Amazon Academy brought together policy experts, law makers and small business owners for a range of discussions on what is needed to help European SMEs thrive.

In 2020, the 185,000 European small and medium-sized enterprises selling on Amazon sold more than 1.8 billion products in our stores, achieving €12.5 billion in export sales. SMEs continue to account for more than 50% of what we sell on our stores, and we keep investing in tools, services, and solutions that can help SMEs thrive and boost their success.

In the keynote address at the Amazon Academy 2021, Mark Boris Andrijanič, Minister for Digital Transformation for the Republic of Slovenia, highlighted the crucial role of SMEs in the growth of the European economy. He also pointed to the potential that the European industrial strategy can play in the transition towards a digital economy.

“Supporting SMEs is absolutely crucial for Europe’s success. They employ over 83M people, which translates into 2 out of 3 jobs in the European private sector.”
Mark Boris Andrijanič, Minister for Digital Transformation of the Republic of Slovenia

In the following fireside chat, Xavier Flamand, VP EU Seller Services at Amazon, described the support that Amazon offers SMEs to help them boost their online sales, as well as highlighting the role of AWS programs in providing digital skills to SMEs.

The policy panel discussion focused on how digitization leads to business recovery and featured Ivan Štefanec, Member of European Parliament (Slovakia), Paul Hofheinz, President and Co-Founder of the Lisbon Council, Antje Gerstein, Managing Director for European Policy/Sustainability at the German Retail Federation (HDE), and Lucia Cusmano, Deputy Head of Unit for SME and Entrepreneurship at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship.

“The three most important actions to consider for supporting SMEs in Europe are: digitalization, regulatory framework, and public finances that are supporting retailers. ”
Antje Gerstein, Managing Director for European Policy/Sustainability at the German Retail Federation (HDE)
“During the pandemic most European funds were directed to SMEs and the European Parliament does understand the importance of SMEs as major employers in the European Union.”
Ivan Štefanec, Member of European Parliament (Slovakia)

We heard from four European selling partners who shared their experience of expanding their businesses online before and during the pandemic. Sophie Laporte, Co-Founder & CEO of French brand Un Air d'Antan, Richard Badal, Founder & CEO of German Pentagon Sports, Christian Krömer, Managing Director & CEO of German Spielwaren Krömer and David Martínez, Co-Founder & CEO of Spanish Sangría Republic explained how selling online helped them reach new markets and talked about the tools available to sellers on Amazon that helped them do that.

Click here to read the full bios of the keynote speakers and panelists who participated in this 2021 edition.

Learn more about Amazon’s dedicated programs to support Small and Medium Business across Europe here.

Follow us on Twitter on @AmazonNewsEU for real-time updates and news.