A local business owner from Bradford has today been announced the winner of the coveted Innovation Award at this year’s eBay for Business Awards. Jack Sutcliffe, owner of Powersheds, is one of 11 eBay sellers to be recognised for their entrepreneurial success in the nationwide awards.
Jack Sutcliffe’s business sells modular garden sheds, which can fit easily on a pallet, and can be delivered to anywhere in the UK. After conducting research, Jack and his team realised that buying a shed can be an overwhelming experience for many. Deciding that he wanted to make the process as easy and accessible as possible for his customers, he created his sheds which can be arranged to fit any garden – regardless of size. The business has taken off since it started in 2019, and Jack now employs 20 people and has arranged deals with 22 trade customers.
Jack Sutcliffe, owner of Powersheds, said: “The first place we sold our sheds was on eBay, and just getting that first order confirmed to us that we had made the right decision to set up our own business. Since then, our business has taken off – we now employ 36 people and have 35 trade contracts. eBay’s been so important to us throughout this journey, especially during lockdown when we’ve seen more people than ever going online to buy a garden shed. We’re thrilled to have won this award, and it’s been a great opportunity to reflect on everything we have achieved to get here.”
Each of the category prize winners will receive a £5,000 prize to invest in their business. Winners will also be granted a free one-year eBay Anchor Store Subscription and access to eBay’s Concierge, the gold-plated customer service team – with a combined value of over £15,000 – to support them in growing their businesses over the next year.
The eBay for Business Awards is an annual event designed to recognise and celebrate the most inspiring sellers among eBay UK’s community of 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses. The announcement follows a nationwide search for the best British businesses trading on the platform, following an exceptionally challenging year for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.
eBay received over 1,200 entries for this year’s awards across all categories, ranging from kitchen table start-ups and university ‘side hustles’, to established family businesses and those complementing offline stores with online avenues. Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges made up of eBay leadership, industry experts, and previous award winners, including Victoria Bischoff, Money Editor at the Daily Mail and Chris Dawson, Editor of Tamebay.
Murray Lambell General Manager of eBay UK, added: “In what continues to be an exceptionally challenging year for so many, I’m delighted to have the chance to celebrate some of the most impressive small businesses trading on eBay UK. Entrepreneurs like Powersheds are a critical part of the UK economy and a reflection of the entrepreneurial spirit that helps this country thrive. It has been a privilege hearing their stories of resilience and determination, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings for these inspirational sellers.”
The announcement follows new data from eBay UK last month showing the number of new, self-made millionaires on the platform has risen by 35% in the last 12 months, as British entrepreneurialism continues to thrive despite challenging trading conditions. A new survey of SME sellers on eBay has also revealed that almost two thirds (62%) maintained or increased online sales compared to pre-COVID and the overwhelming majority (90%) managed to maintain or increase the number of jobs they support.
It comes as eBay recently launched its “Pay As You Grow” scheme, a new initiative that sees fees removed for any first-time business sellers on the platform until they have made over 100 sales in a single month, and reduced fees thereafter each month. The scheme, running until the end of the year, is inspired by the UK Government policy of loan repayments and designed to give an entrepreneurial helping hand to the growing numbers of unemployed across Britain. This builds on eBay’s continued efforts to support small businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis, following a wide range of seller support policies brought in since the start of the pandemic.