The United States Business Association of E-Commerce is poised to open for business on June 9. Its mission is to help small and mid-sized enterprises, as well as minority- and veteran-owned startups, to bridge the e-commerce digital divide.
The B2B marketplace platform will connect small and medium-sized firms to domestic and global buyers.
USBAEC founder Tayde Aburto expects to have at least 70 companies signed on and 17-20 exporters from Mexico on board for the official launch next week.
Based in San Diego, the USBAEC bills itself as a disruptive business ecosystem of buyers, partners and suppliers.
The association is committed to providing access to business resources and services to help businesses thrive in the digital economy and compete more effectively in domestic and global markets, according to Aburto.
“Business associations are currently disconnected, limiting business opportunities and access to resources for their members. We will connect them under one businessecosystem,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
Viable Opportunity for Success
Many e-commerce sites and small businesses today struggle to compete, with a poor Internet presence and lack of knowledge about how to apply best practices, noted Osiris Parikh, sales marketing manager at Lilius.
“The nascent effort of USBAEC is very intriguing,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
Many established business associations have similar missions, but USBAEC stands apart due to its focus on e-commerce, as well as through its platform to connect different businesses with each other and provide a range of resources that initially will be free, Parikh said.
“I think there is some viability to USBAEC, but they will have to prove to business owners that the effectiveness and user base of the platform are worth their time,” he cautioned.
For its membership campaign, the USBAEC is targeting SMEs — especially businesses that are Hispanic-, Black-, LGBT-, Asian-, Women- and Veteran-owned. The new group also is appealing to business owners located in rural areas. Membership is open to certified minority suppliers, business associations, and exporters/importers.
That potential membership base represents a large portion of struggling businesses in the U.S., Aburto noted.
There are 11 million minority-owned businesses within U.S. borders:
- 4.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses employ 4.2 million people;
- 2.6 million Black-owned businesses employ 920,000 people;
- 1.9 million Asian-owned businesses employ 3.6 million people;
- 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses employ 5 million people; and
- 13 million women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million people.
There are 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses contributing US$1.5 billion to the U.S. economy. Another 1.1 million small businesses and 2.1 million farms round out the impact of the target membership marketplace.
A large swath of business already exists across the U.S. border into Mexico, which is central to the association’s marketing platform. U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico totaled an estimated $671 billion in 2018, Aburto pointed out.
The top export market for 27 states in the U.S. is Mexico. Mexico was the United States’ second largest supplier of imported goods in 2018.
What Members Get
USBAEC membership benefits include business networking, access to marketing apps and e-commerce apps, as well as various business apps for payroll, electronic invoicing and accounting.
Members get access to business resources for growth and development, including business training, mentoring, access to capital markets, and lobbying. They also get access to suppliers.
Members can take advantage of API integrations with online tools provided by third-party vendors to help businesses thrive.
Cost of membership:
- Small business — $19.97/month
- Mid-sized business — $24.97/month
- Enterprise — $49.97/month
The hoped-for disruptive business ecosystem of buyers, partners and suppliers will focus on helping SMEs grow and compete more effectively in domestic and global markets.
Goals include the creation of jobs and other economic opportunities; investment in digital skills training for small businesses; and greater visibility for underrepresented entrepreneurs.
The new association will provide outlets for members to invest in trade and export education for small businesses. The training will make it easier for SMEs, regardless of geographic location, to use technology to run their businesses and to leverage economies of scale.
The digital platform will provide business apps to help SMEs promote their products and services. The online tools will be provided by third-party vendors and will be available on any device with access to the Internet. Mobile apps are available on Google Play and the App Store.