The Sharing Economy Is Scaling Up

On the basis of a global empirical survey, the report generates an understanding of the Sharing Economy initiatives’ business models, the enablers and success factors as well as the barriers they face. All of the surveyed initiatives are active in either sharing of services, goods and food, mobility or space. Business models are based on P2P, B2C, B2B. Most of the initiatives are start-ups that are operating either for profit or are non-profit. Additionally, interviews with six sharing experts supported the analysis of the results and added further interesting input.

The main findings suggest that the initiatives from the Sharing Economy are creating value beyond economic aspects for their customers. They are mostly focusing on tech savvy millennials in urban areas. Establishing a critical mass and overcoming traditional consumer habits are perceived as the main challenge from the initiatives´ perspective. For scaling up their activities, financial barriers pose the main challenge to the initiatives. Trust and user information play a strategic role for them. Partnering among the Sharing initiatives or with conventional businesses or the public sector is seen as a possibility for further development. Broader target groups, reaching rural areas and holistic approaches are suggested as success factors for the initiatives.