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Online SME millionaires set to double

Kathleen Hall

The number of small businesses trading online hitting the million pound mark is projected to double this year.

According to online auction house eBay, small businesses have a significant role to play in driving UK e-commerce.

Of the 127 businesses projected to reach a £1m turnover, the average rise in sales is estimated to exceed £600,000 per business. Twenty five of those are projected to achieve a rise in revenue of 100% or more this year, while 14 will rise over 200%, and 11 a rise of 300%.

Warren Blayds, owner of baby products site Online4baby, has seen his turnover double to £4m since 2007. "As the company grew in popularity and as more customers demanded immediate delivery, we shifted operations on to eBay. I have been able to hire more staff and expand the company," he said.

According to eBay, 25,000 people have launched on the site since the recession began.

Jody Ford, eBay's director of SMEs, said: "The success of these million-pound businesses should encourage all entrepreneurs, from those with a longstanding business plan to graduates or school leavers with a great idea - as it shows that if you have a good business model and understand the demands of your customers you can be an overnight success."

E-commerce continues to grow, as figures from IMRG showed that shoppers spent £5bn on the internet in July, up 18% since the same month in 2009, the highest yearly growth in three years.


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