eBay UK has announced the latest recipients of its Business Roadshow grants, aimed at helping small businesses accelerate their growth.
In total, 138 businesses have received cash grants and support packages worth a combined £280,000, which were made available to small business applicants who attended eBay’s ongoing National Business Roadshows.
The announcement comes as eBay’s Global Small and Medium Business Report revealed how its UK sellers are using eBay to try to navigate the cost of doing business crisis. The report found that a third of its UK sellers said they started their business online because they wanted to supplement their existing income, and more than a quarter had used income from the site to help them pay a bill or settle a debt.
One such seller, and recipient of a £5,000 eBay Business Roadshow grant, is Cumbria-based Handpicked Penrith. The owner, Heather Cleghorn, partnered with a local business that got rid of previously worn clothing and began selling secondhand clothing during the first lockdown. Her eBay sales have now allowed Heather to open her first physical store, and she is passionate about educating people about the impact of fast fashion.
Handpicked Penrith is just one of many small businesses to credit eBay for getting off the ground, and the SMB Global Report also reveals that a quarter of their UK sellers say their business wouldn’t exist without the site.
Sarah Bryant, Director of Small Business at eBay UK, said: “Britain’s bustling small business community plays a vital role in the economy and makes up the vast majority of our seller network, but there’s no hiding the fact that that many are faced with an exceptionally challenging business environment today.
“Our Business Roadshow grants and support packages aren’t just about funding – we’re doing everything we can to make it easy for small businesses to succeed, including providing expert advice and one-on-one mentorship. As our research and Heather’s story show, having the right encouragement, support and empowerment to turn your passion into a thriving business can make a real difference.”
Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain added: “Faced with these extraordinary economic challenges, small businesses need all the help they can get. The UK recovery will be driven by small businesses so it’s great that eBay is providing this financial support to so many small businesses across the country. The broader eBay Business Roadshow and ongoing business advice and guidance also offer invaluable support to many small businesses, enabling them to compete and win in the crucial holiday retail period.”
Heather Cleghorn, of Handpicked Penrith, said: “Having started a small business while employed, eBay allowed me to quit my job entirely in 2019 so I could sell full-time and spend more time with my family. Lockdown initially threw me a huge curveball, with the availability of my original products (toys and housewares) disappearing almost overnight. Fortunately, I was able to quickly transition into selling second-hand clothes, and this turned into a quick education on the impact of fast fashion. This was only possible through eBay, and I am so grateful to be able to help spread this message to the wider online community as well.”
Throughout 2022, eBay has taken its Business Roadshow to nine towns and cities across the UK, with three more to come in 2023. The events feature stories from inspiring entrepreneurs alongside personalized advice from eBay experts to help sellers to make the most of their online businesses. .