Formed in collaboration with nonprofit Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF), the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab is geared toward diverse SMB owners, with a focus on women and entrepreneurs of color who have hit harder by the pandemic, the release stated.
“The program will provide intensive hands-on learning to a cohort of 150 small business owners across the U.S. through a series of workshops and one-on-one coaching by eCommerce experts,” FedEx said in the release. “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 get a $2,000 grant along with a series of seminars on advanced eCommerce topics and access to an online learning hub. The hope is to connect SMB owners with an eCommerce market that grew by 33 percent last year, according to the release.
The program will be run over the course of five months starting in September. That schedule is timed to coincide with the holidays, so participants have added help with marketing and technical support during that busy selling season, the release stated.
The learning lab comes at a time of great uncertainty for SMBs, as AOF’s Adriana Eiriz told PYMNTS in January.
“There is this feeling of an unsure future right now,” Eiriz said. “Small businesses are not even sure if taking on any debt is the right thing — even debt that is low-priced or highly subsidized.”