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Empowering Diversity and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship

By: Lauren Mobertz, eBay News Team

eBay leads discussion on the rewards and challenges of starting an ecommerce business at Blavity’s recent AfroTech conference.

Over 1,800 Millennial entrepreneurs, tech industry professionals, artists and students gathered at Blavity’s recent AfroTech conference in San Francisco to share their insights on building businesses in today’s tech-enabled world. To inspire AfroTech’s audience of Black Millennials and promote diversity in entrepreneurship, eBay hosted a panel discussion on the rewards of starting an ecommerce business and tips for getting started.

“Partnerships like this one with AfroTech are key to driving more diversity and inclusion in ecommerce,” said Damien Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s Chief Diversity Officer. “We want people to know that when you think about eBay, you should think about entrepreneurship, and you should think about diversity and inclusion.”

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Damien moderated a panel with entrepreneurs Ciara Brown and Kelechi Anyadiegwu in the discussion. Winner of the 2017 eBay SHINE award, Ciara discussed the momentum she builds from doing what she loves as well as eBay’s role as an equalizer for anyone looking to start a business. “I started selling on eBay because they provided all the traffic for free. I didn’t pay a dime until I sold an item,” Ciara said. “You can be very successful on eBay. They provide everything you need.”

Kelechi, who founded Zuvaa, a global marketplace for African-inspired fashion, advised budding entrepreneurs not to be afraid to think big. To Kelechi, recent advancements in technologies have driven down the barriers to entry in ecommerce; now, to increase diversity in ecommerce, we need to focus on encouraging people to start selling. “It’s about providing people with the resources to get over the hump of gaining that initial traction,” she said.

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In his closing remarks, Damien challenged attendees to share in the $4.5 trillion in global revenue ecommerce is projected to generate by 2021. “I encourage you to get out there,” he said.

eBay’s presence at AfroTech is another important step in bringing new sellers, especially Black Millennials, onto the eBay marketplace and the financial opportunities it has to offer. “Getting to tell the eBay story has been very valuable to this community, and we look forward to continuing this momentum going forward,” said Dominique Hollins, eBay’s first Seller Diversity Ambassador.

“It’s been incredible to see the resilience in all the attendees at this event – they are hungry to learn from each other and from companies about how to master their entrepreneurial mindset. If eBay can be a part of their journey, we’re lucky,” said Daniela Martinez, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager at eBay.

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AfroTech is the largest Black tech conference in Silicon Valley. In addition to hosting the conference’s ecommerce panel, eBay's Diversity & Inclusion and Communications Teams partnered with the Brand and StubHub Teams and Black Employees at eBay, eBay Women In Technology, UNIDOS and United In Pride Communities of Inclusion to sponsor AfroTech’s Black Food Truck Lunch Park, set up a show-stopping booth to recruit university-level and professional candidates and sponsored two current university students to attend the conference.  

20 eBay and StubHub employees attended to engage with AfroTech attendees. eBay also sponsored the inaugural AfroTech conference in 2016.

Read more about Diversity and Inclusion at eBay.

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