Small firms make up almost half of sales on Amazon sites around the world. Across Europe, SMEs exported over €3 billion worth of goods in the past year by working with Amazon.
In Brussels, we brought some small and medium business owners, trade association leaders, MEPs and EU officials face-to-face so they could figure out how to overcome many of the hurdles small entrepreneurs face. It was also a great opportunity for policymakers to hear all about the practical challenges, like registering for VAT in other countries, and servicing customers in other languages that SMEs face online.
One of Amazon's key missions is to help sellers sell across Europe.
Hearing from sellers talk about their own experiences
Luisa Masciello, runs ZigoZago a business selling fun accessories and clothing for children. After the economic crisis, she changed strategy from supplying local shops to establishing her own online business. By extending to the Amazon websites, she saw a big jump and sales online now represent 60% of her business.
Anna Nordlander of The Friendly Swede talked about how the last couple of years of expansion helped her company double its turnover. She gave policymakers some tips on how to ease the path to growth and job creation for smaller companies by avoiding over regulation.
Senior EU official, Kamila Kloc, the Deputy Head of Cabinet to Commission Vice President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip explained how the Commission aims to complete the European single market online.
Francois Saugier, Amazon's Director of EU Seller Services talked about how our Marketplace helps small firms reach customers in other EU countries and around the world by taking on much of the logistics for them.
And from Germany, Oliver Prothmann, the President of the Federal Association of eCommerce (BVOH) contrasted the relative ease of setting up a retail business online with the challenges small firms face when they attempt to trade across borders.