Studio Ten

Sitting on a small fortune: Britain’s growing ‘Armchair Economy

Press Release   •   Jul 22, 2013 09:16 BST

A new ‘Armchair Economy’ is propping up the ailing UK economy as an increasing number of people choose to work for themselves and set up their own businesses online, according to iwoca, which provides business loans to eBay and Amazon Marketplace sellers.

There are over 300,000 UK businesses selling online in an ecommerce market worth €50 billion. In the past five years 367,000 people have become their own boss, taking the total to 4.2m. In a near standstill UK economy, ecommerce is the only sector to forecast double-digit growth and is set to account for almost a quarter (23%) of total UK retail by 2016. As more people seize the opportunity to make a living from home and set up shop online, this growing ‘Armchair Economy’ has the potential to become the UK’s saviour.

Looking to Europe, the UK is the largest ecommerce market and is by far the biggest ecommerce exporter, accounting for a third (€11.6 billion) of Europe’s €36 billion online cross-border sales. This is generating a huge income for Britain and provides further evidence of the role ecommerce plays in propping up the rest of the UK economy.

Supporting this, Finance Machine is reporting a sharp increase in the number of customers who are seeking business funding to help them grow. The volume of approved small business loans in May 2013 was a 1,400 per cent increase over the same period a year before and Finance Machine’s business has doubled in size every quarter since the company’s inception.

The CEO and founder of, said:

“The UK economy has stagnated but ecommerce is clearly growing and, looking at our particular customer base, it is clear that people are realising the opportunities of this emerging sector. One customer selling packaging materials on eBay increased his annual sales by 50 per cent in just 12 months and we are seeing similar results across our customer base.”

eBay/Amazon Marketplace seller and website owner of goarmy Saul Page aged 23, said:

“As I love the great outdoors, I started selling army clothing and outdoor equipment from home. Since launching in October 2012 my business has quickly turned into a profitable, globally exporting, rapid growth business and I have seen a staggering 25% increase in sales month by month. It’s a really exciting time for me and I’m looking forward to growing the business even further and increasing my website presence in other markets.”

FinanceMachine provides short term business loans to eBay and Amazon Marketplace sellers, recognising the need for a better, faster way of getting cash to sellers to help them increase their turnover. Loans are based on annual sales and customer feedback scores, factors that a traditional lender won’t consider. is the number one small business loans company in the UK for eBay and Amazon sellers.