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U.S. Women Entrepreneurs Lead the Global e-Commerce Marketplace

To mark National Women’s History Month in March, Alibaba.com, one of the world’s largest business-to-business (B2B) online e-commerce marketplaces, today revealed site data showing that 1.1 million U.S. women are at the forefront of a surge of female entrepreneurs who are doing business globally.

Susie Wang, 100% Pure (Photo: Business Wire)

Susie Wang, 100% Pure (Photo: Business Wire)

The number of U.S.-based women using the Alibaba.com online marketplace increased by 72% between 2008 and 2011. Alibaba.com data show that 1.1 million Alibaba.com entrepreneurs in the U.S. are women – higher than any other country – and they are leading the way in leveraging global sourcing opportunities to grow their businesses. (The U.S. total--1.1 million--surpassed the U.K., where 261,000 women are Alibaba.com members, and third-placed India where there are 168,000 female registered users.)

As evident from Alibaba.com’s research, women entrepreneurs are grabbing global trading business opportunities made possible by the advent of e-commerce. With e-commerce tools like Alibaba.com, women can start their businesses with lower start-up costs and reach a larger market.

“Entrepreneurs drive America's economy and Alibaba.com is a great resource for many female entrepreneurs. The platform provides a one-stop-shop for them to find a huge variety of products from our 2.2 million supplier storefronts. They reduce their costs by working with the suppliers directly and cutting out the middleman, and create original products by using our new services such as the Customized Sourcing service,” says Linda Kozlowski, Director, Global Marketing and Customer Experience, Alibaba.com.

Case Study 1: Pure Success Leads to Job Creation

Many of these female entrepreneurs are also creating jobs on U.S. soil. Take Susie Wang, Co-Founder of cosmetics company 100% Pure™, who has over 50 employees across her factory and stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, and sources over 10,000 ingredients from dozens of countries using Alibaba.com

Using Alibaba.com, 100% Pure has been able to source Lingonberries from Sweden, Argan Oil from Morocco, and Green Tea from Japan. The green company was also able to customize its packaging by sourcing post-consumer recycled soda cans, bamboo pulp and other environmentally friendly materials through Alibaba.com.

“Alibaba.com provides a vital tool to connect us with suppliers,” says Wang. “We are able to source what we need, keep our pricing down and use our market share to create U.S. based jobs.”

See Susie’s story at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfCqdd6nFHE&list=HL1329415073&feature=mh_lolz

Case Study 2: A Fresh Take on Cost Savings

Jacqui Rosshandler is the creator of Eatwhatever®, a breath freshener that is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and fat-free and works from within to provide real fresh breath - even after eating onions or garlic. Rosshandler used Alibaba.com to source suppliers in the U.S. to create packaging that clearly and simply shows customers how to use the innovative dual-action breath freshener.

Rosshandler started her business using Alibaba.com. “The factories want your business. When you send them a design, they send back the product quickly. They don’t waste time, which is very refreshing,” says Rosshandler. “Using the contacts I found through Alibaba.com, we saved so much time and money developing new products and packaging.”

See Jacqui’s story at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCWRIzdFMSM&list=PLA4A78FBC902082C7&index=4&feature=plpp_video

Case study 3: No Shoe Order Too Small

When Katie Shea and Susie Levitt wanted to find footwear manufacturers for their innovative CitySlips™ – foldable ballet flats for when women need to ditch the high heels – they quickly sourced a supplier through Alibaba.com that was happy to make small quantities of their prototype.

Their New York-based startup, FUNK-tional Footwear developed a product that addressed the needs of women everywhere…all from their dorm room at NYU.

Katie and Susie started searching for footwear manufacturers on Alibaba.com in 2008 and began prototyping their product soon after. They looked into pricing and also researched who could fill their small quantity request. “Once we found the right manufacturer, we had a thousand pairs of shoes made and delivered to my parent’s garage on Long Island,” says Katie. “The dorm room wasn’t big enough, so that essentially became our first distribution center!”

Katie and Susie reached $1M in sales in their first year of business. Today, their bestsellers are sold at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy's, Dillard's, DSW, Bed Bath & Beyond, ShopNBC, and hundreds of specialty retailers.

About Alibaba.com Limited

Alibaba.com (HKSE:1688) (1688.HK) is the global leader in e-commerce for small businesses and the flagship company of Alibaba.com Group. Founded in 1999 in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online mainly through three marketplaces: a global trade platform (http://WWW.ALIBABA.COM) for importers and exporters; a Chinese platform (www.1688.com) for domestic trade in China; and a transaction based wholesale platform on the global site (www.aliexpress.com) geared for smaller buyers seeking fast shipment of small quantities of goods.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50209821&lang=en

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