After a search for the best British inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses, 12 eBay sellers were recently celebrated in the UK’s first ever eBay for Business Awards.
More than 500 inspirational entries came from all corners of the UK, from the top talent already trading on eBay to brick-and-mortar businesses looking to take their first steps online. Finalists were invited to spend the day at eBay UK headquarters for an award ceremony, where they were able to meet members of eBay’s leadership team and interact with employees.
Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK, was pleased to meet the finalists in person. “It was truly inspiring to listen to all of their stories and the various ways in which eBay has helped them to change their lives for the better,” Rob said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with our winners to help and support them through the next stage of their business journey.”
The first of the two grand prize winners, Joe Waggot, launched Metal Polishing Supplies in 2008 while living with spina bifida. Due to his health issues, Joe knew he needed a career that allowed flexibility around his hospital appointments. Metal Polishing Supplies has since grown rapidly, with the company recently moving to a 1,200-square foot warehouse in Portsmouth, England, with annual sales surpassing £300k in 2016.
“Being one of the grand prize winners literally means the world to me,” Joe said after accepting his Inspiration Award. “Having gone through what I have in life, it’s great to meet other people who have had similar challenges to mine who have still been able to succeed in their endeavours through the help of eBay.”
The second grand prize winner was rare coin trading business The Coin Supplier, launched by Bristol entrepreneurs Henry Bishop and James Grear straight out of high school.
The Grand Prize winners each received a cash prize along with a trip to meet eBay’s global executive team in San Jose, Calif. Winners will also receive tailored assistance from ecommerce experts Linnworks to help boost their presence online and increase sales.
In addition to the grand prize winners, three highly commended sellers were also recognized. This included Mohammed Agha, who started selling on eBay to support his wife and child following their arrival from Syria in 2013. Today, Mohammed supports others seeking asylum by organizing eBay training courses, with more than 30 fellow refugees in Birmingham and Manchester having benefitted from his work so far. Lancashire-based Festive Lights, a specialist lighting seller celebrating 13 years of success, and Nuts n Bolts Ltd, a father-son duo from Ulster who teamed up to launch their DIY supply business in 2014, were also awarded.
With more than 200,000 small businesses already trading on eBay in the UK, we commend the inaugural eBay for Business winners in the UK as well as all business owners around the world fulfilling their dreams on eBay.