Get support for your business through the Alibaba.com Grants Program

According to the Economic Innovation Group’s analysis of the US Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics, nearly 4.5 million new businesses were formed in 2020 — a 50% increase from the 2010-2019 average. And this growth continued in 2021. The Wall Street Journal shows that applications for employer identification numbers passed 3.2 million this year, up from 2.7 million at the same point in 2019.

All of this shows that despite a rocky year for businesses small and large, entrepreneurship is on the rise. In fact, we’re now experiencing a boom in the creation of new businesses. And these “New Digital Entrepreneurs” are changing their lives and starting out on their own. What’s more? Thousands of these businesses aren’t tied to a physical storefront.

Take Twinkle Gupta for example. Once COVID-19 hit, she decided to learn more about selling on Amazon full time. She decided to go out on her own and start a business. Twinkle worked with an Alibaba.com seller to create products and she then sold them on Amazon — with no physical storefront. And now, she’s learned so much about marketing, advertising, budgeting and Amazon’s SEO algorithm that she’s accepted a full-time job as an ecommerce content specialist.

These “New Digital Entrepreneurs” like Twinkle are building their businesses through ecommerce. But a key challenge to survive is funding. Goldman Sachs reports that 44% of US small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have less than three months cash in reserve.

To support these New Digital Entrepreneurs, we’re launching our first ever Alibaba.com Grants Program totaling US $500,000. 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 is open to any new or existing Alibaba.com account holder with an innovative product idea or go-to-market strategy.

Interested entrepreneurs can apply now until October 21, 2021 by submitting their product idea or go-to-market strategy through hialice.co/alibaba, where they will be scored based on their demonstration of the market opportunity, their business model/product innovation, and their plan for the funds. In early December, the top 50 applicants will win US $10,000 each in order to bring their innovative ideas to life.

As part of the Alibaba.com Grants Program, all applicants can participate in the Alibaba.com Digitization Sprint for Retailers. This five-part course covers the fundamentals entrepreneurs need to succeed in ecommerce. Over the course of six weeks, we'll explore business topics like ecommerce basics, marketing and customer acquisition, sourcing and supply chain management, business operations, and overall business growth. We are collaborating with partners in the ecommerce space such as Helium 10, Ecwid, Spocket, and ZonGuru. New digital entrepreneurs can take advantage of the course to turbocharge their online retail presence. View the full schedule here.

This week's #B2BTuesday Tip:

Make your cash work for you. Open high yield business savings account as your central cash reservoir. But make sure to keep it an immediate-access account so you can withdraw money as needed.