*This blog originally appeared on eBayinc.com
This month, eBay is announcing its second annual Latin America Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in recognition of five sellers who best embody what it means to build a successful business with global reach. The awards celebrate Latin American entrepreneurs who have used eBay’s tools and platform to enter the global economy and build high-impact businesses.
This year’s recipients hail from Mexico, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Brazil, and all share unique and inspiring stories borne from the global marketplace. Each winner will receive a complimentary eBay store level upgrade and a $1,500-$2,000 cash prize to invest in their business. In addition, the eCommerce Institute will award each winner with a fully paid scholarship for a training program of their choice to further hone their entrepreneurial skills.
The eBay Latin America Entrepreneur of the Year Award winners are:
Business of the Year Award: André Magalhães
André Magalhães is a Brazilian seller who specializes in automotive sound equipment and collectors’ items. His eBay store Brazil Shop offers a variety of inventory spanning audio amplifiers, action figures and miniature trains.
Over the past few years, André familiarized himself with digital tools to help build a digital marketing strategy for his online eBay store. He developed an export structure, partnered with the Post Office and FedEx to ship products around the world, and expanded his team in order to manage logistics and improve online customer service. He was awarded the Business of the Year Award for maintaining a solid and successful business, applying best practices and exhibiting constant sales growth.
Omnichannel Business Award: Israel Ampudia
Mexican seller Israel Ampudia transformed his hobby of collecting Jurassic Park collectibles into a successful international business with the launch of his eBay store Jurassic Fan Quest in 2012. His online store is a one-stop-shop for collectors searching for rare and exclusive pieces from brands like Chronicle Collectibles, Iron Studios, Mattel, Funko, Minico, Kenner, Hasbro and Rebor.
Over the last two years, the store’s sales have grown more than 1,500%, with 40 items sold on average per month. Israel sells to customers in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France and Australia. His ability to integrate different sales channels to build a prosperous international business earned Israel the Omnichannel Business Award this year.
Social Business Award: Nataliya Zhestkova
Originally from Russia, Nataliya Zhestkova traveled to Ecuador in 2012 and immediately fell in love with the country and its culture. eBay became the perfect springboard for her to share local Ecuadorian products with the rest of the world, while strengthening the local economy. Her eBay store Ecualama has grown to offer a variety of products like ponchos, hats and blankets made of wool, which generate sustainable income for the artisan families in her community.
In the last two years, Ecualama has exhibited a sales growth of more than 130% and sells an average of 350 items a month to 90 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany. Nataliya was the recipient of this year’s Social Business Award for creating an international business that helps its local community by preserving its traditions and generating sustainable income.
Circular Economy Business Award: Bernardo Brum (pictured) and Guido Stumbo
Uruguayan sellers Bernardo Brum and Guido Stumbo merged their passion for retro cars into a successful international business on eBay in 2007. Their eBay store RetroMotorTeile is a classic vehicles and spare parts ecommerce company that facilitates locating and purchasing classic vehicles and spare parts. They specialize in German and European classic brands, like DKW Auto-Union, BMW, SAAB, VW and more.
The seller duo now have inventory in three countries, including Montevideo, Uruguay; Austin, Texas; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over the past two years, their sales have grown more than 10%, with 120 items sold per month in 75 countries.
Their combined successes earned Bernardo and Guido this year’s Circular Economy Business Award, which recognizes their business for offering a longer life cycle for items that would otherwise become waste.
New Business of the Year: Iván Blázquez
Puerto Rican seller Iván Blázquez launched his eBay store Tropical Plantae last year to raise additional funds for his family’s agriculture business. Specializing in a variety of trees and plant products, Iván's online store promotes reforestation and sustainable food production through every sale. Tropical Plantae offers a wide variety of plants, including avocado, mango, apple, lime, passion fruit, cocoa, tamarind and papaya, among others.
In the last year alone, Tropical Plantae exceeded 1,400% in sales growth, with 800 sold per month in 50 countries. His first year sales growth and high scalability potential earned Iván this eBay’s New Business Award this year.