eBay, the online mega-auction site, recently announced the eBay Sellers Challenge, a contest designed to help online merchants develop their entrepreneurial spirit and expand their eBay businesses. Four grand prize winners will be chosen, and each will receive a hefty $25,000 business grant. Four runners-up each will receive a $5,000 grant.
The eBay Sellers Challenge invites eBay members to submit a business plan and a 60-second video describing how they would use the prize money to establish or expand an eBay-based business. To help entrants get started, eBay offers some practical advice on entering the challenge, including tips for writing a business plan and a “Director’s Kit” that offers advice on creating a video. There is also an instructional video on site with an example of a recent submission.
In an official eBay announcement, the president of eBay Marketplaces, Lorrie Norrington, said, “The eBay marketplace is a community rich in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. 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.”
According to eBay, there are four categories of entrants:
- Current or former member of the U.S. armed forces
- Individuals or small businesses that have not sold on eBay
- Part-time sellers who want to go full-time on eBay
- Full-time eBay sellers who want to further grow their business
eBay is accepting entries to the Sellers Challenge through July 7, 2009. Two finalists from each category will be selected by eBay and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation in the world devoted to advancing business entrepreneurship. The eight finalists will be chosen based on the clarity of the business plan, perceived challenges and obstacles in business, appropriateness of contest theme, and passion for using eBay. eBay members will then have a chance to vote for their favorites among the finalists, and the winners will be announced on August 11, 2009.