On Purpose Fellows connect to make eBay for Change happen

    • Around the world, 86% would prefer to see the world change significantly – and become more sustainable and equitable – rather than revert to the pre-pandemic status quo.
    • Even before the pandemic, 85% of employees were not engaged or actively disengaged from their work.
    • The pandemic led to a 51% increase in applications to the On Purpose Associate Programme, which supports professionals to move to a career with greater meaning and purpose across all sectors.
    • The On Purpose community of purpose-driven professionals is facilitating the new kinds of connections and collaborations we need to “build back better”, as demonstrated by the launch of ‘eBay for Change’ on 3rd June 2021. 

    The ‘eBay for Change’ programme aims to create jobs and support marginalised communities by supporting small, socially-impactful businesses with millions of pounds for training and financial support over 3 years. An “eBay for Change” hub has been created on the eBay UK website which allows UK customers to buy from these small businesses.

    eBay has partnered with Social Enterprise UK, UnLtd, World Fairtrade Organisation and Shift Design to give global visibility to purposeful small businesses who reinvest their profits back into their communities in the UK or abroad.

    This collaboration was driven by a number of On Purpose Fellows (alumni) and Associates (current participants): the Head of Social Impact at eBay (Chris Gale) as well as two further colleagues involved (Helen Armstrong and Tessa Furnivall), the Director of Delivery & Investment at UnLtd (David Bartram), and the consultant at Shift (Duncan Fogg). In addition, On Purpose has strong ties to SE UK where Fellow Andy Daly is the Head of Corporate Partnerships. The On Purpose community has acted as a connector and incubator for purposeful professionals which allows innovative partnerships such as eBay for Change to develop.

    On Purpose’s international community consists of over 600 professionals across sectors (43% of which work in non-profits, a further 43% in private sector organisations and the remainder in public services/the government) who connect cross-organisationally to make transformative change happen. eBay for Change demonstrates how On Purpose enables "unusual connections" that can make change happen by bridging organisations and sectors.

    ‘Building back better’ is a priority for governments and people across the world. It will require working differently and finding new ways to partner across sectors so that the best ideas and ways of working can be harnessed from all parts of the economy.

    As employees are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the traditional ways our economy works, they are seeking out jobs and building careers that allow them to contribute to building a just and equitable society across all sectors of the economy.

    Networks that span the siloes of our traditional sectors and facilitate ‘unusual’ collaborations are a powerful mechanism for the significant, systemic, change that 86% of people want to see. eBay for change is a case in point.

    Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact at eBay says: eBay for Change is all about supporting the growth of the social enterprise sector and celebrating these businesses that are putting people and planet at the heart of the way they do business. The On Purpose Programme was the catalyst for me personally to be able to pursue work that I love and has been such an important resource for us at eBay to bring people in to the business that have incredible energy to support the changes we need towards a more inclusive and equitable economy.   

    Tom Rippin, CEO of On Purpose says: Building the human connections that will be the fabric of a new economy is a long-term undertaking. The On Purpose community is helping to weave this fabric. We are delighted that eBay has come together with UnLtd, SE UK and the World Fairtrade Organisation as well as Shift Design to give visibility to purposeful small businesses and we are proud of the part our alumni have played in this.

    Notes for the editor: 

    Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact at eBay is available for interview. 

    Tom Rippin, CEO of On Purpose is available for interview. 

    For more details, please contact Sarah Koedijk on sarah.koedijk@onpurpose.org.

    Information about On Purpose: 

    Many professionals are no longer satisfied with only creating shareholder returns and instead believe that socially and environmentally-focused business models must help solve society's toughest problems. The one-year, full-time Associate Programme, which started in London in 2010, attracts and develops leaders for purpose-driven organisations of all kinds. It expanded to Paris in 2015 and Berlin in 2016. During the Coronavirus pandemic, On Purpose launched its Pathfinder Programme to widen the circle of people it supports in moving towards a life and career that aligns with their values.