The eBay Business Roadshow will visit 12 cities and towns, delivering training, support and investment worth over £1 million to small online businesses across the UK.
eBay is investing over £1 million in skills and funding to help UK small business communities thrive post-COVID. The eBay Business Roadshow is eBay's first physical roadshow and investment programme in the UK. It is intended to help would-be and fledgling entrepreneurs to start up and scale up their online businesses. eBay has partnered with Small Business Britain and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to deliver the roadshow as well as calling on local business experts. It is also offering access to networking, skills and training via its online learning tool, eBay Academy.
New research conducted by eBay has found that 69% of UK small businesses say that for the first time ever, they are facing inflationary pressures across all parts of their business - including supply chain, energy, wages and rent. The majority (59%) say their finances are stretched and 47% say that a lack of investment is preventing business growth.
The eBay Business Roadshow starts at Sheffield City Hall on 28-29 April. This two-day event will include sessions on how to start up and scale up small businesses, with eBay experts available to answer questions. Business clinics with eBay, Small Business Britain and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce will provide free one-to-one advice on everything from marketing to accessing finance. 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.
Murray Lambell, general manager at eBay UK, said: "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."
Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain, said: "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."
Shevaun Haviland, BCC director general, said: "Initiatives like the eBay Business Roadshow are … 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 Salford (26-27 May), Newcastle (9-10 June) and Glasgow (16-17 June), followed by Norwich, Leicester, Reading, Southend-on-Sea, Plymouth, Cardiff, Bristol and Belfast. Further dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Written by Rachel Miller.