Redefining Entrepreneurship: Etsy Sellers’ Economic Impact
First published November 2013
Etsy is an online marketplace where artists and collectors sell their handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. Founded in June 2005, Etsy now includes more than 20 million products and over one million sellers worldwide. In the last year alone, they generated over $895 million in sales.
A survey of 5,500 U.S. sellers reveals a unique population of Internet-enabled entrepreneurs who are building businesses on their own terms — prioritizing flexibility and independence over rapid growth, and using Etsy income to build resilience in the face of declining job security. Though inadequately captured by traditional data sets, Etsy sellers join millions of workers worldwide who are supporting themselves and their families by starting micro-businesses, and transforming the U.S. economy in the process.
Etsy Sellers Are Predominately Women
While just 29% of all enterprises are women-owned, 88% of U.S. Etsy sellers are women. 42% had never sold their goods before opening an Etsy shop. By making it easy to market and transact, Etsy has enabled many more aspiring female entrepreneurs to start and manage independent, creative businesses.
Etsy Sellers Identify As Business Owners
Nearly three quarters of surveyed sellers – 74% – consider their Etsy shops businesses. They are entrepreneurs who commit significant time and personal resources to their shops, and 91% aspire to grow their sales in the future.