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 More than 36,000 new businesses joined eBay in 2018, the largest rise since 2015, reports the online marketplace.

Rob Hattrell, Vice President of eBay in the UK, said: “Britain’s small business scene is booming, fuelled by a desire for greater flexibility, independence and empowerment. It’s this attitude, coupled with an agile approach to decision-making, that means our sellers have what it takes to keep British business ahead of the pack.”

eBay’s Small Business Barometer reveals that the power to choose working hours (33%) and make their own decisions (30%) are the top motivations for UK entrepreneurs.

According to eBay : 43% of UK small businesses feel positive about their growth prospects in 2019, compared to just 22% who are pessimistic – a margin of two to one.

In fact, against a context of uncertainty, nearly two thirds of UK small business owners (62%) plan to increase their investments in 2019, according to eBay’s Barometer.

eBay’s Small Business Barometer suggests that digital retail will play a key role in small business success in 2019. Small business owners surveyed expected most of their growth to come from online sales (22%) and increased product lines (14%) in the coming year.