eBay City Events Create Community Connections and Opportunity

By: Sebastian Rupley, eBay News Team

A recently piloted Diversity & Inclusion initiative is focused on empowering local communities and small businesses through eBay’s global online marketplace.

eBay makes a difference for entrepreneurs all around the world.  Many of those amazing entrepreneurs are based in the vibrant cities eBay’s offices call home. Through a new initiative dubbed eBay City, our employees are partnering with local community partners to help strengthen existing entrepreneurs and cultivate new ones.

With direct support from our CEO, Devin Wenig, our Chief Diversity Officer, Damien Hooper-Campbell, has teamed up with a group of over 20 passionate employees from across the company to engage the San Jose, California community through a number of unique channels:

-       In partnership with San Jose City College (SJCC), eBay delivered a seller panel discussion for more than 100 of the college’s students. The panel featured Millennial sellers who started successful eBay businesses while they were in college.

-       eBay employees designed and piloted a free, interactive and hands-on game to simulate the selling experience for more than 75 SJCC students interested in becoming online entrepreneurs.  

-       Over 30 San Jose small businesses joined eBay employees and sellers at our San Jose headquarters for networking and a conversation about how to become better entrepreneurs.  The event was promoted by a team of eBay employees who spent their weekends meeting local small businesses door-to-door across San Jose.

-       eBay hosted over 150 SJCC students and their families at its headquarters for SJCC President’s reception honoring the achievements of the college’s African American Students.

-       eBay partnered with The City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development to co-sponsor the Sixth Annual San Jose Small Business Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation on May 5th, with Chief Diversity Officer Damien Hooper-Campbell as keynote speaker.

sjcc4These events represent components of the pilot phase of the eBay City Initiative that will now transition into an ongoing program. eBay City is aimed at celebrating the diversity within entrepreneurship and eBay’s marketplace. 

Our own Sarah Brubacher, Senior Director of B2C Engagement, moderated one of the eBay City panel discussion and said, “eBay is not just a place to buy and sell, it is a place to belong.”

Melissa Paz, one of the San Jose City College panelists, started selling on eBay as a college student in Puerto Rico. She sells full-time on our platform now. Another panelist, Odane Hanson, has built a 10-person business selling on eBay.

"I was happy to see our students listening attentively to how they can showcase their abilities and perhaps become their own bosses,” said Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland, President of San Jose City College, seen to the left of Damien Hooper-Campbell in the photo atop this story.

“I don’t have a business background,” said Paz. “But I figured out how to sell successfully on eBay, and now I coach others. I love hearing that cha-ching on my phone at night when I make a sale. I’m sleeping and I’m making money.”

“Coming to this experience this was great,” said Rosa Ramirez, a student at San Jose City College. “It taught me how to become a successful seller spending just a few moments on my phone, I am going to try to get into business on eBay.”

sjcc1“eBay City lets us visit our neighbors and give them an opportunity to convene with a diverse set of small business owners, including minority owners,” said Hooper-Campbell. “Running a small business is hard, and these neighbors aren’t necessarily talking to each other, so we are trying to promote a sense of community among them. We want to open doors, and let them know that eBay can be a platform for them to grow a business and reach customers around the world.”

The vision for eBay City events is to expand them into more regions, including events outside of the U.S. Through them, prospective entrepreneurs and eBay employees can learn from each other. “We have amazing people at our company who have valued skillsets, including marketing expertise and ecommerce expertise,” Hooper-Campbell said. “Through this program, our employees can serve the local businesses who might need those skills.  eBay also can learn a great deal about what matters most to the community’s entrepreneurs.”

Here are additional photos from the eBay City events:

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