Historically, success in exporting has been linked to business size and growth. Unfortunately, the means to export have traditionally been limited to larger businesses, further reinforcing their scale and productivity advantages over small businesses. This dynamic is compounded when viewed through the lens of businesses owned by women, which tend to be smaller on average than those owned by men. However, on eBay, these traditional export dynamics have been largely left behind or even turned on their head.
Today, we published a new report demonstrating the success of small businesses owned by women on eBay in exporting around the globe. This illustrates how the eBay marketplace levels the playing field by opening access to global markets to even the smallest businesses and microentrepreneurs. Our research reveals that 97 percent of women-owned eBay-enabled small business are exporters compared to less than 1 percent of traditional businesses. Additionally, they reach an average of 15 international markets with their goods, nearly 4 times that of traditional businesses. At the national level, small businesses owned by women outperform the rate of eBay small businesses overall for these metrics as well as the share that reach 10+ international markets (55% vs. 51%) and 4+ continents (60% vs. 56%).
The report also features the stories and testimonials of two eBay sellers from this vibrant community of global traders:
Andrea Harrison, of Lithonia, GA, leveraged over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry to launch “In a Clutch”, a successful online accessory and consignment store. Through In a Clutch, customers worldwide benefit from her fashion skills and expertise and can find fashionable items at a fraction of the price. Andrea said, “When I began selling 16 years ago, the process to sell internationally was rather complicated. But now eBay has helped simplify the process and has made selling internationally so much more fluid. I really enjoy selling on a platform that has everything already built in, like eBay.“
Karen Lesak, of Glenview, IL, started her store, “Finds For You”, as a hobby selling items from her closet, and quickly grew into a successful business that sells designer clothing and accessories to consumers around the globe. Her growth and success have allowed her to support her local community through professional development opportunities and donations to local charities. Karen remarked, “I can really leverage eBay’s global reach to access a worldwide audience. eBay helps alleviate the stress of an international sale and helps increase my reach to foreign countries. As a small business, I am only able to ship globally thanks to my partnership with eBay.”
The ability of women-owned small businesses to export globally on eBay provides a clear, striking and measurable contrast between traditional ways of doing business and the digital economy. Given that businesses that export have traditionally been more successful and resilient than those who do not, the online export success presented in this report is a positive sign that women entrepreneurs on eBay are building successful business enterprises for the long haul.
Read the full report here.