// eBay launches regional roadshow and investment programme to start and scale small online businesses across the UK
// The online giant will visit 12 cities and towns in the next 12 months, while delivering year-long training and support
eBay has unveiled the launch of the “eBay Business Roadshow” – its first ever physical regional roadshow and investment programme in the UK, designed to help small online businesses navigate rising inflation and the impact of the pandemic.
The Roadshow will turn up at the doorsteps of small businesses across the country, helping would-be and pre existing entrepreneurs to both start up and scale up their online businesses.
As the cost of living crisis continues and inflation surges, eBay is investing over £1m to deliver a year-long support programme, visiting 12 cities and towns in the next 12 months and expecting to reach thousands of small businesses by the end of March 2023.
The online giant has teamed up with both Small Business Britain and British Chambers of Commerce to deliver the eBay Business Roadshow, alongside business organisations and experts specific to each region who can provide hyperlocal advice.
Ongoing access to networking, skills and training via its online learning tool, eBay Academy, will also be provided throughout.
According to new research from eBay UK, 69% of small businesses say that for the first time ever, they are facing inflationary pressures across all parts of their business – from supply chain, to energy, to wages and rent – which is having an adverse effect on skills and training.
The majority admitted their finances are stretched and almost half of those who needed to recover from Covid said they were concerned their business wouldn’t do so fully.
Meanwhile, 47% said that a lack of investment is preventing business growth, and over a third of those who needed to recover said that a lack of investment would force them to let people go.
eBay UK general manager Murray Lambell said: “Thanks to the amazing resilience and adaptability of small business owners, most have successfully weathered the multiple challenges of covid, supply chain problems, and now the cost of living crisis.
“eBay has a long heritage in supporting our army of 300,000 small business sellers in both the good times and the more challenging times, so we’re very proud to build on this by announcing this first ever national Business Roadshow, which we hope will make a meaningful difference for small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, providing them with the skills, investment and network to thrive in the long-term.
“We want to open our community to even more businesses, so that whichever part of our British Isles you’re based in, you can find a way to harness the huge opportunities that our platform can give to both start-up entrepreneurs and established, highly-scaled online sellers alike.”
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses of all sizes, particularly small businesses, have been impacted by events out of their control. Although we’re seeing small pockets of recovery in some sectors, we know that small businesses are hit the hardest and are facing a ‘cost of doing business crisis’ with spiralling bills, inflation and supply chain issues.
“Initiatives like the eBay Business Roadshow are therefore vital to help small businesses. Not only in helping them to navigate such a complex business environment, but to provide them with much needed financial support so that they can best start up, scale and share.”
After the first event in Sheffield, eBay will visit the following towns and cities over the next twelve months:
- Salford (26th – 27th May)
- Newcastle (9th – 10th June)
- Glasgow (16th – 17th June)
- Southend on Sea
Further dates for the eBay Business Roadshow will be announced in the coming weeks.