AMAZON has proclaimed Edinburgh as the “ideal location” in which to invest and said its outlay in Scotland has helped thousands of small businesses to grow.

Speaking ahead of the launch of Amazon Academy in the capital, Graeme Smith, managing director at Amazon’s Edinburgh Development Centre, said: “Since we opened in Edinburgh, our Scottish investments have expanded to include a customer service centre, two fulfilment centres, three delivery stations and a Prime Now site in Glasgow. We now have over 2,500 employees across Scotland. This investment has helped underpin the growth of lots of small businesses across Scotland.”

Amazon opened its first Development Centre outside the US in Edinburgh 13 years ago and has partnered with the University of Edinburgh for its Amazon Academy programme.

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“We’re in this city because of the talent here,” said Mr Smith. “The University of Edinburgh produces more world-leading and internationally excellent research in computer science and informatics than any other university in the UK.”

Mr Smith noted that innovators from the Amazon were creating software that is used by hundreds of millions of its customers all over the world. “They are also inventing new technology to personalise the customer experience to help customers discover more of what they want and boost sales for the thousands of businesses selling products on Amazon,” he said.

The Amazon Academy’s free one-day event will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on May 23. It will feature presentations and workshops from experts and entrepreneurs, focusing on providing small and medium-sized enterprises with practical support and guidance to grow their businesses online.

“Anyone with a laptop, an internet connection and a great idea can compete with the biggest companies, and we at Amazon want to help them achieve that,” said Mr Smith.

More than 370,000 small businesses, entrepreneurs and authors are estimated to use online services including Amazon Marketplace, Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Web Services.