EBay Levels Playing Field for Black Businesses

By CultureBanx Team

  • 19% of sellers on eBay are minorities

  • EBay’s “Retail Revival” started in Akron

The central platform for connecting buyers and sellers eBay (EBAY -0.53%) has turned its attention to help black entrepreneurs expand their businesses. As the original online auction platform looks to level the playing field no matter your background, diverse sellers are finally getting some much needed assistance.

Why This Matters: EBay wants its corporate identity to be synonymous with supporting and enabling entrepreneurs. With this strategy in mind, they’ve linked up with black small business owners, giving them an opportunity to harness the power of eBay’s global marketplace in order to boost their reach and revenue.

Currently the e-commerce giant has six million sellers in the U.S. and 19% of them are minorities, according to the company’s Economy Impact report. In early 2018, eBay launched a new program in Akron, OH called “Retail Revival” focused on bringing traditional brick and mortar businesses online and to new customers globally.

The company focused on the socio-economics and demographics of Akron, as the city has a 30% black population, according to City-Data. “Long term we want the infrastructure, awareness and intentionality of eBay and our marketplace to reflect in the black community that eBay is a conduit for them to operate their businesses,” said Damien Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s First Chief Diversity Officer.

So far eBay has 50 marketplace initiatives that have been dedicated to diversity and inclusion. In its most recent earnings report their Marketplace platforms delivered a 9% revenue growth coming in at $2.1 billion.

What’s Next: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners, which is the U.S. Census Bureau’s snapshot of American businesses, highlighted that nearly 10% of U.S. companies are owned by black people. A number like this makes it clear eBay is on to something by working with this growing group of entrepreneurs. They are expanding the Retail Revival program to Lansing, MI next.

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