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A sharing economy across the globe

joe-krausPeople like Joe Kraus, a partner at Google Ventures who backed car-sharing sites like RelayRides, are convinced of the upcoming ‘sharing economy’. But what is this sharing economy exactly? What is the hype about and what does it mean for upcoming businesses across the world?

“The sharing economy is a real trend. I don’t think this is some small blip”  -Joe Kraus

f0318bc37fa2340b3564d20d451e38d8The so called sharing economy is an economic trend we’ve seen has risen during the last couple of years, mostly due to the development of the internet, where access to goods, services, information and talent is shared between consumers and producers. Perhaps the best known example of this phenomenon would be AirBnB. Founded in 2008, this website offers travelers to rent a room, house, villa or castle for any price at any time all across the world.

So it’s a hotel you’d say? Wrong. Here’s the cool thing. AirBnB themselves don’t offer places to stay the night. Locals like you and me do this by placing their extra room online and renting it for a (often) small price per night to anyone who is willing to stay at their place. By now there are almost 8 million people worldwide using the AirBnB services and it’s still growing.

Win-win

Another example that takes the sharing economy aspect one step further is Withlocals. This Dutch company offers a new and unique traveling experience by letting locals offer their places or services like food and activities to travelers in their area.

Say you’re taking a trip all the way to Vietnam. Of course you want to leave with an authentic and amazing ‘Vietnam’ experience. What better way than to get in contact with the locals there and let them show you around? Withlocals offers three different versions: EAT Withlocals, TOURS Withlocals and ACTIVITIES Withlocals.

The interesting thing here is the fact that all these ‘mini businesses’ are run by local people. This shatters the ‘classic’ industrial model of companies owning and people consuming and allows for anyone to be both consumer and producer. The local people are getting money by offering their authentic experience to travelers, whilst travelers in turn create opportunities for locals to start earning more money.

With the current state of economic affairs here in Tennessee – and in the whole of the US – we’re glad to see that there are more and more people taking part in the ‘shared economy’ trend. When looking for an AirBnB location in Tennessee there are more than 400 accommodations found in Nashville alone, with more than 1000 across the whole state. Guess who’s staying the night near the Scott County Museum?