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The sharing economy is booming with the UK leading the way in Europe

By 2025, total transactions in the UK sharing economy could peak at £140bn, an increase from £13bn in 2016.
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Peer-to-peer transactions generated by the UK’s five most prominent sharing economy sectors are expected to grow by 60 per cent – or £8bn – this year.

This is according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) which found that businesses from the UK, to Spain and Romania are no longer looking inward – rather, outward, toward peer-to-peer (P2P) participation and community. 

The sharing economy includes disruptive businesses such as AirBnb, Bla Bla Car and Love Home Swap.

By 2025, total transactions in the UK sharing economy could peak at £140bn, an increase from £13bn in 2016.

Rob Vaughan, economist at PwC, comments: “Innovation will remain crucial to success in the sharing economy. Several established players branched out into new service offerings in 2016 and we expect them to invest significantly in these this year.

“The success of these new services will be an acid test of whether sharing economy platforms can eventually become the established leaders of their markets, or will forever be known as the ‘disruptors.’”

According to research by OnBuy.com, at least 275 sharing platforms have been founded in Europe, facilitating €28bn worth of transactions over the past few years.

The UK and France are leading the way with over 50 sharing platforms founded. The UK in particular has positioned itself as the hub of the sharing economy, contributing around a third of the sharing economy activity across Europe in 2015.

Germany, Spain and the Netherlands are not too far behind with 25 collaborative economy platforms apiece.

OnBuy MD, Cas Paton, commented: “Today’s economy is prime for sharing – from freelance platforms changing the way we work, to food-sharing platforms changing the way communities connect – it’s time for businesses to embrace the concept.

“In doing so, businesses across the globe can achieve a sustainable way to appeal to a modern-day audience, with far higher reach that is readily accessible.” 

The UK is now home to a number of successful sharing economy companies which are expanding overseas, such as Lovehomeswap, Justpark and Hassle.

In terms of revenue however, peer-to-oeer transportation is the biggest sector for the UK’s sharing economy, contributing over a third of UK platform revenues. Uber and Zipcar are particularly popular.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.

 

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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