Alibaba.com, the company's global B2B e-commerce marketplace, has announced the first-ever Alibaba.com Grants Program to support small & medium-sized U.S. businesses. The program received thousands of applications and is in process of reviewing each to award a total of $500,000 to help U.S. online entrepreneurs bring their innovative product ideas to market.
In 2020, 600,000 more new businesses started than in 2019 in the U.S., and, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, one third of these companies are retailers not tied to a physical store. Many of these 200,000 new online businesses are part of a newly emerging group of entrepreneurs. These "New Digital Entrepreneurs” are building digital businesses enabled by new online infrastructure that allows them to easily set up and operate their own business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce businesses. This class of New Digital Entrepreneurs have among the lowest startup capital costs with 44% saying they needed $5,000 or less in the first six months.
Alibaba.com is partnering with Hello Alice, a resource platform that aims to help small businesses through every step of the entrepreneurial journey, to host the grant program, which seeks to be a leg up for America's New Digital Entrepreneurs to make their business ideas a reality. All businesses who applied for the grants also have access to join the Alibaba.com Digitization Sprint for Retailers to gain integral know-how on key business topics such as ecommerce basics, marketing and customer engagement, sourcing and supply chain, finance and HR as well as overall business growth.
Alibaba.com and Hello Alice will announce the grant recipients in December.