The December 2016 issue of Technology Innovation and Management Review, themed “Smart Cities and Regions”, included an article authored by Hanne Melin, eBay Director of Global Public Policy, Samuel Laurinkari, eBay Senior Manager Government Relations, and Taina Tukiainen, Cabinet Member of the President of the EU Committee of the Regions. The article, titled, “How Can Online Platforms Contribute to Smarter and More Prosperous Regions in Europe?” was based on the eBay Public Policy Lab Report Empowering People and Creating Opportunity in the Digital Single Market, and describes how the online platform model for commerce is allowing European SMEs and entrepreneurs to extend their geographic reach and actively engage in global trade. The research shows that the ability to directly operate in foreign markets creates enterprises capable of growing and successfully entering and participating in new markets – despite the recent years’ financial recession and stagnation. Additionally, as the online platform model for commerce reduces costs over distance, it helps create economic activity and entrepreneurship in less populated, less prosperous, and more remote regions. This is a force for enabling a great diversity of businesses across the EU and supporting the rise of smart regions irrespective of locations and their preconditions.
The Technology Innovation Management Review provides insights about the issues and emerging trends relevant to launching and growing technology businesses. The publication focuses on the theories, strategies, and tools that help small and large technology companies succeed. The December issue is available at: https://timreview.ca/sites/default/files/Issue_PDF/TIMReview_December2016.pdf
For those further interested in how this new commerce is taking shape in all EU countries, our team has developed an interactive map, which provides an easy way for users to study our country-specific data – ranging from digital density to export volumes, export destinations, and growth of technology-enabled exporters in each individual country. For example, if you’ve ever wondered what the top product export categories of our Croatian sellers are or how many of our Swedish sellers export to more than four continents, you’ll be able to find out in the tool.
The trends of the ‘new commerce’ which are reflected in our data and the tool result from the way technology fundamentally changes commerce. The Internet, combined with digital commerce services, enables small businesses to take their operations from local to global, allowing them to significantly broaden their customer base, gain market share and improve their resilience. As our data shows, this is happening right now, at scale, throughout the EU. Research we have conducted together with economists from Sidley Austin LLP reveals how small business turn towards online marketplaces such as eBay to reach customers across Europe and globally. On average, micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) leveraging eBay in the EU serve consumers in 18 different countries annually. And this is not a phenomenon limited to large cities and prosperous areas. We find that exporting MSMEs are situated throughout Europe's regions, and their success is not dependent on traditionally preferred location. eBay is proud to provide our MSMEs customers with a platform and the tools they need to grow their businesses.