- Charles Allen
- Email the Blind Merchants President
On September 15, in a joint press release, the NFB and eBay announced the NFB/eBay Entrepreneurs Program..
We are now seeking blind people who want to participate in this innovative pilot program.
Business Start Up Pilot
The NFB/eBay Entrepreneur Project is looking for serious entrepreneurs who want to create new eBay businesses or expand existing businesses to include eBay selling. We will offer successful applicants intensive eBay training and connect them with successful blind business people and other experts who will provide assistance in specific areas, such as business planning, development, and working with accessible accounting software.
Individuals chosen for the Business Start Up Pilot will take part in an intensive training program at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore. They will receive transportation, lodging, training classes, accessible training materials, and ongoing mentorship support.
If running your own eBay business appeals to you, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request an Entrepreneur Program package. Your letter of interest should include:
- a resume describing your employment and education history, with particular emphasis on entrepreneurial projects;
- a brief description of the product or service you intend to market using eBay; (Is this a completely new enterprise, or are you intending to create an eBay outlet for a business that already exists?)
- a basic budget outline.
Because this is a pilot program intended to demonstrate the viability of eBay businesses run by blind individuals, we must select from applicants those with the strongest plans and the greatest willingness to mentor the blind people who will follow.
Training the Trainers
In order to provide opportunity to as many people as possible, we will train interested blind people to be eBay certified education specialists. EBay Certified Education Specialists are people who buy and sell on eBay themselves and want to create a business teaching others how to do it. The trainers we train will be equipped to teach other blind people who use screen readers; they will also be certified to teach the sighted. With ninety-two million people already using eBay and more joining the community every day, the business opportunity for anyone who can teach them how to be more effective is enormous!
The Certified Education Specialist training will consist of a program that will take place at the NFB Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, plus follow-up individualized support and group teleconference training. Those selected for the "Train the Trainers" program will receive transportation, lodging, training classes, accessible training materials, and ongoing mentorship support.
Is being an eBay Certified Education Specialist for you?
If you have a deep desire to be of service to others, an entrepreneurial spirit, the aptitude to teach, and basic computer literacy using screen readers, we want to hear from you.
Because selling on eBay has not been readily accessible to blind people in the past, you will not need to have experience as an eBay seller to take part in the first "Train the Trainers" class. However, you will need to demonstrate success in buying and selling on eBay in order to graduate and receive certification.
You will need some ability to use a screen reader to access web sites, though it is not necessary to be a screen reader power user.
To apply to enter the "train the trainers" inaugural class, send a letter to email@example.com explaining your background, qualifications (particularly your entrepreneurial and/or teaching experience), and telling us why you want to become an eBay Certified Education Specialist.
Testing the Waters
Even if you do not yet have a perfectly developed business plan, we still want to hear from you. As eBay trainers receive certification, we will help connect you with them so that you can get started on the path to running your own eBay business.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
- Mary Ellen Gabias, coordinator
- NFB/eBay Entrepreneurs Project
- (410) 878-2660 for further information or an application package.
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