eBay UK and Black Girl Fest (BGF) have joined forces to create more equitable opportunities for Black women eCommerce sellers.
The year-long partnership will support the roll-out of the BGF x eBay Seller Academy Programme, designed to equip eBay’s product-focused Black women entrepreneurs with the right tools, skills and knowledge to sell effectively on the site.
The partnership with BGF, a festival and platform designed for Black women, girls and non-binary people, will also help eBay better understand the needs of Black entrepreneurs in the UK.
According to a recent report, multi-ethnic workers are almost four times more likely than White respondents to start a business. The entrepreneurial approach is the highest among Black respondents. Despite this, Black women entrepreneurs typically find it harder to access the right support.
The training programme will also offer Black Women entrepreneurs fee reductions and vital grants, allowing participants to pitch for funding to support their business growth and development.
With the rising number of Black eCommerce founders, particularly in the hair, beauty and fashion industries, eBay UK, with a customer base of over 20 million, finds it has a crucial role in creating more equity for Black-owned eCommerce businesses.
Following a successful pilot, eBay and BGF are looking to engage Black women entrepreneurs in the next round of the programme, starting this Spring. The aim is to empower up to 100 Black women-led e-commerce businesses through the training programme this year.
eBay UK General Manager Murray Lambell said: “It is clear that eBay UK can do more to drive equity for Black business owners across the UK. We are committed to challenging the exclusion of Black communities from economic opportunity by equipping them with the tools and support needed to make a living by trading on eBay.
“Real change does not happen overnight, and our partnership with BGF is an exciting step on the journey to do better and drive inclusive entrepreneurs.”
BGF, launched initially as a festival, has evolved into a platform dedicated to providing Black women, girls and non-binary people with the right access, learning and development to create opportunities for them to succeed.
Black Girl Fest CEO Nicole Crentsil said: “eBay wants to be a part of building a more inclusive, equitable and ultimately more sustainable economy and the partnership with Black Girl Fest is focused on doing exactly that.
“We can make an impact on the unbalanced startup ecosystem by equipping Black women founders with the tools, funding and access to progress. Our network of entrepreneurs needs support to overcome the many barriers they face, including lower access to capital, skills development, and more, which eBay has the ability to support. Its technical experience in growing an eCommerce business is invaluable to our network of founders selling their product.”
A recent graduate from the programme, Lola Atobele from Black Chibis, which sells toys and collectables, said: “This programme was way more than I expected. I’ve always had an eBay account but didn’t sell anything. To finally sell my products because of the programme was very exciting.
“The one-to-one support was the best part as I was shown different tips and tricks. Now I feel like I know more than people who have been selling on eBay for ye “rs.”
Those interested in being part of the BGF x eBay Seller Academy programme can find out more and apply here.