The German Association of Women Entrepreneurs (Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen, VdU), Global Digital Women (GDW), and Amazon are launching the second round of the initiative “Entrepreneurs of the Future” – this time exclusively for women. The program aims at getting small businesses equipped for the digital economy.
On the agenda: expanding brick-and-mortar stores with online shops, tapping into online marketplaces, leveraging exports via the internet and building brands.
With today’s kick-off, 20 female business owners and CEOs of small businesses with less than 20 employees begin to start or expand their e-commerce business. On their agenda: establishing their own brand online, expanding their brick-and-mortar stores with an online shop, tapping into online marketplaces or leveraging their exports via the internet. Digital experts including experienced female entrepreneurs, Amazon Marketplace sellers and e-commerce bloggers will coach the female owners of small businesses.
“We want to digitize and expand our shop in Lindau, which has more than a 60-year-old tradition,” said Lena Ellensohn, one of the candidates. She is the managing director in the third generation at Lindauer, a company, which sells reading aids and writing instruments under its own brand name.
Female entrepreneurs were able to apply for the program since September 2017 by presenting their biggest challenges on their way into the digital economy in form of a cover letter or video. That is what Mona Glock, owner of the Erdmannhausen-based company “MixDeinBrot”, did. Her application video is accessible here.
The coaches, Amazon, the German Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Global Digital Women have invited 20 out of 160 applicants to participate in the program.
Kick-off in Berlin
Today, the female entrepreneurs met for the first time with their coaches in Amazon‘s Berlin office to start working on their individual action plans. Each one of the businesses faces different challenges, which they want to tackle during the course of the program. Barbara Gebhart, Managing Director of the work clothing business “Berufsbekleidung Gebhart” from Landsberg am Lech that was established in 1889, would like to sell her products online in the future. The Cologne-based company “desiary”, on the other hand, is planning to expand its business internationally. In their online shop, “desiary” sells design and home accessories – and supports customers in finding suitable and personalized gifts.
“’Female Entrepreneurs of the Future’ aims at supporting female business owners by laying the foundations for e-commerce and exports,” said Dr. Markus Schöberl, Director Seller Services at Amazon Germany, who is responsible for the program.
“The digital economy offers great opportunities for female entrepreneurs – which should be taken advantage of. Our joint initiative is intended to provide the initial push,” said Tjien Onaran, initiator of Global Digital Women and partner of “Female Entrepreneurs of the Future”.
The German Association of Women Entrepreneurs is also a partner of the program. President Stephanie Bschorr: “The program focuses on interacting with fellow candidates and the coaches. They can learn from each other and give each other advice – in order to select suitable sales channels, or when calculating costs and setting up effective marketing strategies.”
Together with their coaches, the participants will develop action plans and implement them. They also receive training on digital commerce topics including:
• E-commerce basics
• Customer centricity and retrievability online
• Product and range design, product listing, content design
• Distribution channels, including domestic and international marketplaces
• Marketing, promotions, deals, brand development and brand protection
• Specific know-how on Amazon Marketplace and Prime
• Logistics in e-commerce
• Internationalization and exports
• Communication: Self-PR, social media and B2B communication
At the end of the program, the female entrepreneurs who were most successfully will be honored by a top-level jury of representatives from the German Association of Women Entrepreneurs (Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen), Global Digital Women, and Amazon as well as from academia and politics. Award categories include “From Offline to Online”, “Brand Building”, “Marketplaces”, and “Exports”.
You can find more news about Amazon and the program at www.amazon.de/unternehmerinnenderzukunft, on our info page "A to Z" www.amazon.de/a-z, on our Amazon Blog www.amazon.de/a-z/blog, and on Amazon's Twitter channel for German corporate news @AmazonNewsDE.
The participating businesses are:
The coaches of “Female Entrepreneurs of the Future”:
… and more.
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