eBay for Change is a new programme to support the growth of the social enterprise sector. We asked Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact at eBay, about what the platform is all about, its importance to eBay and how it will help social enterprises grow and increase their impact.

What is the eBay for Change platform all about?

The eBay for change programme is all about supporting the growth of the social enterprise sector.  The programme essentially has 2 parts, on one side we are working with SEUK and the World Fairtrade Organisation to bring social enterprises on to eBay, supporting them with a package of training, zero fees and a significant marketing investment which includes a dedicated hub on ebay.co.uk to increase awareness and drive sales of participating businesses.  On the other side we are working with UnLtd to support the next generation of ecommerce social enterprises through the first dedicated ecommerce social entrepreneur start up programme.

The ‘eBay for Change’ hub connects our 29 million shoppers with up to 50 small businesses that each have a clear social mission. Shoppers will be able to access a broad range of products from clothes to homeware, and jewellery to collectables.

Every purchase made will have a direct, positive impact on supporting disadvantaged communities – whether that’s providing job or training opportunities, or tackling social problems like homelessness, exclusion, improving people’s life chances, or supporting environmental action.

What are your hopes for how will it help support the social enterprise sector to grow, develop and reach more customers?

My hope for the programme is that we are able to support social enterprises continue to grow by reaching our 29 million buyers that come through the platform every month and to use what we do best as a business to continue to mainstream this growing movement of businesses that are focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges facing people and the planet.

Why is this programme important for eBay?

eBay has a very clear purpose that runs through everything that we do – to support economic opportunity for all.  This work is all about us being proactive in living that purpose.  We believe social enterprises have an important role to play in creating a future that delivers more, for more people, than society ever did before and we want to be part of growing and mainstreaming the movement. 

What are some of your favourite social enterprises on the platform? 

We have such a varied group of businesses in terms of their product offering but also in terms of the impact that they have in the world that I couldn’t possibly pick favourites.  What I have loved so much as we have got the programme started has been hearing the innovation, creativity and energy that has gone into starting every one of these businesses.  As as we grow the programme it is the stories that we hear from founders, the individuals or communities working with these businesses and from consumers themselves that I am so excited to see.