eBay launches first UK physical regional roadshow and investment programme

eBay has launched the “eBay Business Roadshow” – its first-ever physical regional roadshow and investment programme in the UK. The Roadshow will turn up at the doorsteps of small businesses across the country, helping would-be and fledgling entrepreneurs to both start-up and scale up their online businesses.

In the face of rising inflation and the ongoing impact of COVID-19, 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.

eBay has partnered 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.

More than two thirds (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, according to new research from eBay UK. The majority (59%) admitted their finances are stretched and almost half (49%) said they were concerned their business wouldn’t fully recover. This is having an undeniable effect on the prospects of scaling up amongst small business owners.

Meanwhile, 47% said that a lack of investment is preventing business growth, and over a third (40%) said that a lack of investment would force them to let people go.

Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK said: “The cost of living crisis is impacting all corners of our society, but for small business owners, it only adds to the huge pressures they’re already facing alongside ongoing supply chain problems and the continued impact of COVID-19.

“eBay has a long heritage in supporting and connecting small businesses during these moments of crisis, and this is no different. We hope that our efforts over the next year 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.”

The eBay Business Roadshow will arrive in Sheffield for the first event on the 28th – 29th April.

The two-day Roadshow will be held at Sheffield City Hall, and will kick off with speeches from Murray Lambell, General Manager at eBay, and Michelle Ovens, Founder of Small Business Britain before a packed afternoon of educational sessions and networking, with eBay experts on hand to answer questions throughout the day. Further educational sessions on how to start up and scale up small businesses will also be held the following day – from building a sustainable business to hiring and retaining talent.

Business Clinics with eBay, Small Business Britain and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce will also be held on-site, providing free one-to-one advice and solutions to address the challenges of budding entrepreneurs and small business owners – from marketing to accessing finance to selecting the right delivery provider. Businesses will also be able to access grant funding at each event, with eBay investing over £1 million in grants over the next 12 months.

Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain, said: “Despite the huge number of obstacles thrown their way, small business owners have shown incredible resilience over the last two years. Unfortunately, there are still a number of challenges ahead.

“Whilst we are now seeing positive signs of recovery, the huge financial pressures on small businesses remain. That’s why we’re so delighted to support the eBay Business Roadshow. Support networks and access to training and investment will be crucial for small businesses as they come out of this period and look ahead to recovery. We can’t wait to travel the country and meet some of the country’s most inspiring entrepreneurs.”

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)
  • Norwich
  • Leicester
  • Reading
  • Southend on Sea
  • Plymouth
  • Cardiff
  • Bristol
  • Belfast

Further dates for the eBay Business Roadshow will be announced in the coming weeks.