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eBay’s ‘Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards’ recognize Puerto Rican business owner

Online marketplace eBay recently held the second edition of its “Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards,” which this year included a Puerto Rican business owner among the winners.

Local entrepreneur Iván Blázquez received the “New Business Award” for creating Tropical Plantae, an agricultural company located in Aguadilla deemed “the most successful new business on the platform, demonstrating high potential for scalability and growth.”

Blázquez was among five winners in the region, along with entrepreneurs from Mexico, Uruguay, Ecuador and Brazil. They used eBay tools to create and expand their businesses globally, “promoting Latin American entrepreneurship and reaching millions of buyers around the world,” eBay officials said in a statement.  

Pursuing his vision of supporting the Earth’s reforestation, Blázquez launched Tropical Plantae worldwide by capitalizing on eBay’s e-commerce platform, in which he promotes and sells local trees and fruit plants.

Blázquez’s success happened during a challenging period given that within two years since launching he faced recovering from Hurricane María in 2017, the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blázquez has agreements with local farmers, from whom he buys the plants and trees that he sells and ships to the U.S. mainland, as well as to clients in Europe and Japan. 

“The eBay e-commerce platform accelerated the growth of my business, which I began as a means of generating supplemental income, and has become my family’s main source of income,” Blázquez said.

“I have wholesale and retail clients all over the world. With eBay it’s easy to connect with anyone interested in my products,” he said.

In addition to a free eBay store level upgrade for one year, winners will receive a cash prize of between $1,500 and $2,000 to help them further expand their business. Winners will receive a 100% scholarship from the eCommerce Institute for a training program of their choice to further professionalize their businesses, eBay officials said.

“It is a privilege to be able to host the second edition of the ‘eBay Entrepreneurs of the Year,’ because for us, celebrating the success of our sellers under the current context becomes even more meaningful,” said Ilya Kretov, eBay’s CEO of Emerging Markets.

“Our platform eliminates borders and allows businesses of all sizes to be part of the global economy. The stories behind the winning businesses this year are incredibly inspiring and reflect the potential that exists in this region,” he added.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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