It’s a £9bn global industry and a recent announcement by the UK government proves it wants to be at the heart of it.
As part of the Conservative – Lib Dem coalition’s plans recover the economy through entrepreneurs an independent review of the ‘sharing economy’, commonly known as the shareconomy, has been ordered.
Some of the best known companies in the shareconomy include ZipCar, Airbnb, Lyft, and even London’s Boris bikes. The whole aim of these is generally access not ownership meaning that anybody can access a car, for example, but not everybody has to own one. The car sharing company, City Car Club, is a good example of this. They have cars dotted around a number of UK cities and members simply book a car online for however long they want. This gives those who don’t need to use a car often or simply can’t afford to own a car access to one whenever they need it.
The industry is growing rapidly and is expected to be worth over £200bn within 15 years but these new business models aren’t without controversy. Airbnb has recently faced opposition in New York and San Francisco with some accusing the company of facilitating illegal hotels and most are aware of Uber’s recent trials and tribulations.
Although this review is being called ‘independent’ it’s being conducted by Debbie Wosskow who founded Love Home Swap – one of the biggest home sharing companies out there so I think we know what the results of this review will be already.