Ebay Moves into Finance to Help Small Businesses in Covid Cashflow Crisis
eBay UK today announces a landmark new finance program, Capital for eBay Business Sellers (CEBS), to help small businesses rebuild by delivering much-needed access to finance, as entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country face a cashflow crunch caused by the pandemic. CEBS offers a variety of financing products to support the army of 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses that sell via the UK platform to 29 million active monthly buyers, and is eBay’s biggest push into financial services to date since it started rolling out the management of payments made on the platform last year.
The launch of CEBS follows new research, released today from eBay UK, which finds a third (31%) of the UK’s 5.9 million  small businesses face going bust in under a month due to inadequate access to financing.
The research also found that two in five (40%) small businesses have been denied a loan from a bank, while one in three (31%) have been turned down for a loan by the government. When considering Covid loans specifically, 44% said they have not accessed any Covid support in the past 12 months.
YouLend is the first of three financing platforms announced today as part of CEBS, giving eBay business sellers access to funding ranging from £500 to £1m, which is then repaid directly from their sales. With eBay already having access to seller trading history and performance, eligible sellers only need to complete a simple application form, receiving offers in minutes, with more than 90% of sellers receiving funds the very same day they accept an offer.
This financing solution helps small businesses overcome the many challenges that have left them financially excluded from high street bank loans and COVID support schemes. Lengthy application forms, years of trading history, high-interest rates and high-risk payment structures are just some of the pain points that CEBS aims to remove for business sellers in need of finance.
It also makes it possible for thousands of entrepreneurs and start-ups that have sprung up on eBay UK throughout the pandemic to access funding to grow and succeed. Hundreds of eBay businesses have already benefited from CEBS, with two further financing partners set to be announced in the coming weeks
The CEBS launch is the next step in eBay UK’s ongoing commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, delivering economic opportunity, and making it easier to set up, grow and scale. It follows a number of initiatives launched in the past year to help businesses and individuals set up ventures or open new revenue streams online, reducing or removing eBay’s fees through programmes like Pay As You Grow and Free Online Shop Window.
Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK said: “Small businesses make up 99% of all UK businesses, yet they have been financially excluded from traditional lenders and let down by COVID support schemes. That’s led to a serious under-investment, leaving many at risk of going under while others are prevented from reaching their full potential.
“Capital for eBay Business Sellers is intended to help plug this gap, giving small businesses quick access to a range of financing options. With 300,000 UK small businesses trading on eBay, this proposition will help them reinvest, protect jobs, and succeed, even as the government’s support schemes dry up.”
Commenting on the experience of CEBS, Stan Weekes, founder of eBay business SW Trading Ltd said “The online application took about 5 minutes. After accepting the 6 figure offer, we received the funds the very same day. Greater access to financing will significantly help us to grow and bounce back after what has been a tough year for so many small businesses.”
Jakob Pethick, CCO of YouLend added: “Our focus is on giving leading e-commerce platforms, tech companies and payment service providers the ability to offer their customers rapid funding through our technology platform. We’re delighted to partner with eBay UK to support their business sellers thrive and grow.”
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