There has been a recent rise of organisations that provide a peer to peer platform where individuals can share their assets or provide services to each other. Examples include Airbnb and Just Park, both part of the sharing economy and Deliveroo and Freelancer, both facilitators of the gig economy. The sharing model can be described as “the creation of economic resources through making available assets that were previously unused.” This definition can also be broadened to include “all economic activities that focus on sharing goods, services or knowledge.”.
The gig economy is slightly different in that it refers to the recent increase in individuals completing a single task (or gig as they are known) for a one-off payment. A common theme across these new organisations is their capacity to connect an under-utilised supply of resources with the under-served demand. In addition, as the World Economic Forum explains; “Sharing rather than owning helps people save money, earn income, lower carbon footprints, increase social capital, boost community, meet new people, build trust, and even enhance choice and convenience.”
Whilst there are economic and social benefits of the sharing and gig economies, there are also challenges to be faced by governments on how to tax and regulate as highlighted by the recent article by the Guardian claiming that the “Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit pay outs.”. It is likely therefore that the governments will continue to review their stance and policy.
Despite the challenges thrown up by the COVID – 19 crisis, at www.edugrowth.co.uk we believe that the gig and sharing economies will continue to grow in the long term whilst global financial resources are reduced, consumers are looking for value more than ever and individuals are looking for extra ways to earn money.
To learn more about how our programme can help you set up a business in the sharing or gig economy visit www.edugrowth.co.uk.