Celebrating the women doing business their way

Rob Hattrell, eBay UK Vice-President

Ebay UK’s Vice President marks International Women’s Day by sharing some of the inspiring stories of its female-led small businesses

Female-led small businesses already contribute around £75bn to the economy each year. With over 200,000 small businesses already trading on eBay in the UK today, our ambition at eBay is to make sure that number continues to grow. And that starts with celebrating some of the inspiring stories of our sellers.

Each and every business on eBay is unique – powered by a British entrepreneur. You might never have heard of their brand, but they are the future of our industry. Empowered to sell in the way they want to, they are the driving force of our economy, setting a new standard for consumers.

One of those British entrepreneurs is Hannah Daragon. Hannah was struck by a chronic disease and forced to leave a job she loved. She returned to work, but after maternity leave, her then employer told her that ‘leadership and motherhood didn’t mix’. Determined to succeed, she set up a business online from home. It's something she says has been 'integral' to her recovery. Her shop Games 4 Hens has given her independence and the ability to grow while being able to spend time with her family.

At the start of this year, I presented Hannah with the eBay for Business Inspiration Award, and her speech to the team blew us away. Hannah proved her doubters wrong.

During my first year at eBay UK I've been privileged to meet so many successful entrepreneurs like Hannah. Our businesswomen really are the best of British- building creative agile companies .

From those who have just started up with £10 and a lifelong dream, sketching things out from the kitchen table, to those who are about to turn over their first million- every person I meet makes me extremely proud of the role we play in supporting them to build their own business in the way they want.

Mandy Warren, founder of DIY hardware business Mandy’s Tools, is another great entrepreneur using our global network over 170 million buyers in 190 markets and counting to sell to the world. As a single parent Mandy travelled the country to sell products to provide for her and her son, but life on the road wasn’t working. In 2010, she set up on eBay. She now has an annual turnover of £350,000, employing only women, and ships her products globally from her warehouse in Lincolnshire.

On International Women’s Day, we’ll be welcoming Mandy and more of our leading entrepreneurs to our head offices, as we do regularly. I want to make sure that everyone who works here has people like Hannah and Mandy – and the rest of the people who sell with us – at the front of their mind whenever they’re making decisions. Not just today, but every day.

The responsibility to help our businesses to sell more, expand and trade with the world sits with us. I look forward to supporting more of their inspiring journeys, and to celebrating their success.