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How eBay Teaches Women to Start Businesses

At least 15 women have started their own businesses after working at eBay. Why?

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A new profile in Fast Company highlights entrepreneurial women who have each started successful businesses of their own, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. They’re all veterans of eBay, the internet’s first marketplace giant that inspired countless spin-off sites and helped shape an entire generation’s shopping habits. So what is it about the company that encourages individuality and innovation?

“One was [eBay founder] Pierre Omidyar,” Kristina Klausen, who started a children’s language learning platform called PandaTree after working at eBay for 10 years, told FastCompany. “It’s hard not to be inspired by his success. He wrote the site over a long weekend and grew it into a groundbreaking company.

“The nature of having a marketplace [at eBay] was that it fostered real collaboration between employees,” she continued, noting that many of the women who have since moved on from eBay aren’t competitive with one another, despite working in similar markets. “The other women have all been there, so we help each other out.”

Lorna Borenstein echoed sentiments that eBay is not only friendly to women, but to working mothers as well. She told FastCompany that she launched eBay Canada out of her guest room with a newborn, joking: “My parents were thrilled.” After working for eBay for four years, she created Grokker, which lends wellness expertise to its subscribers. But she credits her success in part to the fact that eBay was founder-led.

“Back when I joined eBay, I was interviewed by co-founder Jeff Skoll, who was still working in the office every day,” Borenstein told FastCompany. “His clear passion for the business he created, even after he had become a multi-billionaire, spoke volumes about what truly drives an entrepreneur: your personal vision for having a meaningful impact on improving people’s lives.”

Read full story at Fast Company