AWS Public Sector Blog

3 things to like about the now globally available Think Big for Small Business Program

woman on laptop excitedly typing at desk

Diversity matters. Governments, countries, cities, agencies, and more recognize the value that diversity brings. According to McKinsey, companies with ethnic or cultural diversity are 33% more likely to outperform on profitability. With this in mind, I am thrilled to announce the global launch of the Think Big for Small Business Program.

The Think Big for Small Business Program provides small and minority-owned businesses (MOBs) public sector partners in Registered and Select tiers with provisional access to APN Select and Advanced Tier benefits through a set of requirements proportional their size. The program gives our partners more time and resources to achieve AWS Partner Network (APN) requirements. With the global launch of this program, I wanted to share the three things I like most about it:

1. Celebrating and promoting diversity

With a focus on partners who are small and diverse businesses, such as those owned by Black, brown, ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ+, and veterans, the Think Big for Small Business Program helps elevate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and MOBs as well as helps governments, countries, cities, and agencies. The program’s design provides these partners with a unique pathway in the AWS Partner Network (APN) Tier structure, which gives more time, guidance, and needed resources to achieve APN Tier Requirements and AWS Competency.

MFT Executive Advisory Service, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a small husband-and-wife shop with a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating awarded to South African businesses that are 100% Black-owned. Over the past decade, MFT has built a strong record of helping public and private organizations improve their operational environment from a technology risk and operations perspective by moving to AWS Cloud.

“After we joined Think Big for Small Business, the provisional Select Tier upgrade allowed us to quickly leverage benefits such as certification programs and funding to support our organizational development,” said Manisha Dass, managing director. With the support available through the program, MFT embarked on an aggressive go-to-market strategy using APN marketing collateral and the Select Tier status, as well as engagement in other AWS programs.

2. Global coverage

Diversity also means geographic diversity. This program was the idea of Linh Le, our AWS Public Sector Partner leader in Singapore, who worked with team members around the world to figure out how to help make it a great partner experience.

The results and feedback from our pilot partners were positive. Cloudprime (Seoul, Korea), a new cloud managed service provider who delivers government-funded projects to support other small and medium businesses in their cloud migration. With the access to benefits provided through the program, Cloudprime has been winning more opportunities and building a healthy pipeline for the future. But to deliver on that growth, Cloudprime understood the need to continuously build its AWS practice and expertise. “The support from the Think Big for Small Business Program motivated us to get our staff trained and certified, in effect completing the remaining Advanced Tier requirements in just 2 months. We will soon work on getting an AWS Competency for further differentiation, proving the values of small businesses like us in offering cloud-based services,” said Jungsik Hwang, chief executive officer (CEO). Cloudprime and MFT are among the 37% of AWS Partners who participated in the Think Big for Small Business pilot who have already completed the tier requirements and graduated from the program ahead of schedule.

Those who support global businesses such as the African Leadership Group also see the power of the program. “Together we can embark on a journey to grow a cadre of entrepreneurial and ethical small businesses who can innovate using the power of the cloud and make the world a better and more inclusive place,” said Fred Swaniker, founder of African Leadership Group.

3. Supporting small businesses

AWS was built on the concept that the cloud is an empowering technology for all sizes of companies. AWS can also be used by small businesses to offload the complexities of managing software or their own infrastructure. The Think Big for Small Business Program helps governments focus on supporting small businesses.

Hello Alice is a technology company offering a free, multichannel platform built on AWS to help other startups and small businesses launch and grow, leveraging machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). With a community of more than 350,000 companies in all 50 states and across the globe, Hello Alice is building a network of owners and tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for entrepreneurs. Elizabeth Gore, founder and president of Hello Alice, said, “Small businesses are the heart of the economy and innovation. Not only do we leverage the program as a small, female-founded business, but have the link available from our site for other small businesses.”

According to an Endeavor Insight Study, companies whose founders are mentored are three times more likely to be successful. In addition to making sure our program definition of MOB to be most inclusive to cover all under-represented socioeconomic groups, we will also mobilize successful small partners in our AWS public sector network to mentor program participants.

Think Big for Small BusinessThink bigger for small and diverse businesses

As part of the launch of Think Big for Small Business, we will be hosting a follow-the-sun virtual tour with our public sector partners in Europe, Latin America, the US, and Asia Pacific to share more. As part of that tour, partners will have an opportunity to learn how the program can help grow their business and support diversity and inclusion around the world.

To learn more about the program, visit the program website, send an email to, or speak to your AWS Partner development manager.