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The UK’s sharing economy

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A recent report conducted by PwC found that the UK’s sharing economy has grown significantly faster than the rest of Europe. With the UK engaging in and fostering more sharing economy platforms than its European counterparts. The total value of transactions from 2014 to 2015 increasing by 92% in the UK compared to 77% across Europe.

 

The UK’s five most prominent sharing areas were peer-to-peer accommodation, peer-to-peer transportation, collaborative finance, on-demand household services and on-demand professional services, which PwC predicts will see an increase to £140 billion by 2025, a growth of over 30% per year.

 

The rate of growth in the UK can be put down to the UK’s receptive outlook on which it has taken to the sharing economy. The UK’s strong entrepreneurial startup scene has empowered its position so far and PwC notes that by establishing itself as a global FinTech hub, the UK will only see expansion further. London is now home to 72 sharing economy startups including Crowdcube and Funding Circle.

 

The two most recognised sharing economy startups are Airbnb and Uber, with Airbnb now amassing more than half a million properties listed on its website, whilst Uber is said to be doubling its revenue every six months. But their unprecedented growth has not been all plain sailing, whilst the UK has been very receptive other European countries have been less so. Uber has faced partial bans in France and Germany and Airbnb hosts in Berlin have been threatened with €100,000 fines. However, the European commission has recently issued new guidelines to governments noting the benefits the sharing economy can bring. Last year saw revenues of €28 billion across Europe just from the sharing economy.

 

The sharing economy has dramatically changed the landscape of business, particularly within the technology industry but also the way everyday consumers live their lives enabling new economic and social interactions across the globe.

Startups and entrepreneurs working in the field are predicted to secure 87% of the total UK transaction value by 2025. This comes at an important time following the Brexit decision, but Rob Vaughan economist for PwC offers no indication that the UK’s position as capital of the sharing economy should falter nor should any substantial growth. Rather encouraging sharing economy enterprises to actively engage in the process.

 

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