Two years ago I founded the Sharing Economy UK trade body because it was clear that the new and emerging economy didn’t have an active champion or a voice.
Companies like mine, Love Home Swap, didn’t have anyone to turn to for guidance and advice on policy, consumers didn’t know where to go to educate themselves on this fast growing sector, and the government didn’t have a trusted organisation it could talk to about the challenges and opportunities in this space.
Fast forward to now and you’ll struggle to open a newspaper without finding some form of article about the sharing, gig or on-demand economy.
The sector has grown enormously over the past couple of years and, now, it is the right time to hand over the baton to the CBI and for me to step down as chair and for Richard Laughton, CEO of Easy Car, to take up this position.
The CBI has looked at the business interests of the nation for over 50 years and is well positioned to be the new voice and the guide for the sector as it continues to grow at a rapid pace.
The Sharing Economy UK trade body will maintain its name and distinct brand and will still be governed by an independent board, however, the CBI will manage the day-to-day operations.
In this statement about the transition Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, aptly says: “With the sharing economy potentially worth up to £9 billion by 2025, this exciting opportunity gives us the chance to develop our work in a rapidly growing sector at the cutting edge of technology and the digital revolution.
“It will also allow Sharing Economy UK – and its challenger, startup companies – to grow, guided by the CBI’s policy expertise, and reach a whole new range of businesses.”
There are too many people to thank everyone individually for the success of SEUK to date. Our membership grew significantly in just two years and that couldn’t have happened without every member become an active champion of the trade body and the sector itself.
Without that support we wouldn’t have achieved such great wins including “Sharing Economy Allowance” that was announced in the budget in Spring 2016, or launch the world’s first kitemark for the sector, the TrustSeal, which became a stamp of approval for those companies in the sector operating with integrity and best interests of their clients at heart.
There is no doubt that this sector will remain vibrant and keep giving us food for thought and I’ll look forward to the results of Matthew Taylor’s review this summer, which will no doubt be a thought provoking and milestone report in this space.
Debbie Wosskow of the founder of Sharing Economy UK, Love Home Swap and AllBright