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How eBay and Hatch Enterprise are helping the next generation of sneakerheads build businesses

As the OG online sneaker marketplace, eBay, alongside entrepreneur accelerator Hatch Enterprise, is unveiling the Sneaker Academy, a free 14-week programme helping young sneakerheads learn vital skills to turn their passion into an income-generating business. And with just 7 days left to apply, eBay is calling for budding sneaker sellers in need of support to apply today.

Through a range of expert e-commerce coaching, mentoring and guidance, the Sneaker Academy will support budding entrepreneurs from under-served communities, who have faced barriers in getting into the job market or starting their own business. The programme aims to open a pathway to success, which already exists on eBay for savvy sellers.

Wahaaj Shabbir, Head of Sneakers at eBay UK, set up this initiative to give back to the sneaker community – hoping to offer people the opportunities which were lacking when he was looking to fulfil his passion for footwear when starting his career.

Running from 17th May to 14th August 2023, the programme is open for applications now, with applications closing on the 10th April.

Wahaaj Shabbir, eBay’s Head of Sneakers UK, said: “My career was kick-started thanks to having my own business on eBay, so being able to offer expert guidance and support to budding entrepreneurs, like I was, is a full circle way of giving back. Our mission when it comes to sneakers is to make them accessible to everyone, and this programme aims to do the same for sellers – levelling the playing field for those passionate about the product but who face barriers to starting their own business.

With a pair of sneakers sold every five seconds on the platform, the programme provides the perfect solution for budding entrepreneurs with a passion for hyped silhouettes to create a career for themselves.

Once Sneaker Academy participants complete the programme, they’ll continue to be offered ongoing support from both eBay and Hatch, alongside zero fees and free shop fronts for their reinvigorated eBay business in the first six months.

Brenda Kola, Sneaker Academy and Incubator Programme Manager at Hatch, said: “We’re excited to be working with eBay to deliver opportunities to young sneakerheads to supercharge their businesses. The Sneaker Academy programme will help young people learn the skills to get the headstart they need, thanks to our expert mentors, but also support budding entrepreneurs to turn their passion into a viable income-generating career. We look forward to welcoming the future generation down and seeing them flourish.”

Forming parts of the marketplace’s wider mission to offer economic opportunity for all, the programme is another example of eBay UK dedication to employing young people within the community eager to enter the sneaker industry. eBay’s Authentication Guarantee Programme, which vets and verifies luxury fashion items sold on the marketplace, sees its sneakers offering fuelled by sneaker experts passionate about the product.  

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