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eBay Sellers Challenge to Spark Entrepreneurial Spirit

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

San Jose, Calif.—June 9, 2009— eBay today launched the eBay Sellers Challenge, a unique initiative with a simple goal: empower and inspire entrepreneurs to grow existing businesses – or start new ones – on eBay.  The Sellers Challenge asks entrepreneurs to answer a simple question: “How would you use $25,000 to grow – or start – an eBay business?”  Four winners will each receive a $25,000 business grant, along with marketing advice and assistance from eBay. The challenge requires entrepreneurs to develop a compelling plan for growing or establishing an eBay-based business, using the powerful tools and access to buyers offered only by eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace. 

“The eBay marketplace is a community rich in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. “The Sellers Challenge helps underscore this simple truth, and along with the powerful selling tools available on eBay, signifies our fundamental commitment to ensuring the success of our sellers.”

With 88 million active users worldwide and more than 15 million average daily live listings, the eBay marketplace represents the largest e-commerce community in the world.  Every year, total sales on eBay top $60 billion dollars, more than any other online retailer and nearly a quarter of all online sales combined.  eBay offers entrepreneurs truly unrivaled access to customers and unlimited potential for profit and growth. 

Entrants are encouraged to submit a business plan and an accompanying video in one of four categories:
• Current or former members of the Unites States armed forces;
• Individuals or small businesses who have not sold on eBay;
• Part-time sellers who want to go full-time on eBay; and
• Full-time eBay sellers who want to grow their business further.
Submissions will be evaluated by eBay and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship.  Working with eBay, the Kauffman Foundation has also made available a wealth of information and resources for entrepreneurs – including tips for success, guidance for starting and growing an online business and advice on business plan development – at the eBay Sellers Challenge Web site at

“Because entrepreneurship is central to the economic welfare of the United States, the Kauffman Foundation is pleased to see companies such as eBay work to inspire entrepreneurs everywhere,” said Thom Ruhe, director of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “We are always proud to work in partnership with organizations that support our mission: to help individuals attain economic independence and entrepreneurial success.”

Eight finalists – two in each category – will be selected based on perceived business challenges and obstacles, clarity of business plan, passion for using eBay and appropriateness to contest theme.  Buyers and sellers of eBay will then be invited to review and vote on each finalist’s entry, and the most popular entry in each category will win. Each of the four challenge winners will receive a $25,000 business grant from eBay, as well as marketing services and support from eBay; runners-up will each receive a $5,000 grant. 

Both established and aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit, through July 7, 2009, to submit their business idea and review the Official Rules applicable to the contest.  Winners will be announced on August 11. The eBay Sellers’ Challenge is open to registered members of eBay who are legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and 18 years of age or older. Winners must use grant funds to start or grow a business on eBay.

About eBay
Founded in 1995, eBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of people around the world every day, empowering them to explore new opportunities and innovate together. eBay Inc. does this by providing the Internet platforms of choice for global commerce, payments and communications. Since its inception, eBay Inc. has expanded to include some of the strongest brands in the world, including eBay, PayPal, Skype, StubHub, and others. eBay Inc. is headquartered in San Jose, California.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. More information, visit, and follow the Foundation on


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