The social and economic potential of the sharing economy is to be reviewed, assessing how this potential can be reached and to consider any risks to consumers or established businesses.
The review, announced at the Conservative Party conference, will be led by Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap, a home exchange company.
Over the past few years many businesses have developed within the sharing economy, such as Airbnb and TaskRabbit, peer-to-peer marketplaces that allow people to share possessions, time and skills. As such the sharing economy is considered part of the circular economy, with new business models that make the most of our resources, including materials, energy and water.
Car clubs and ride sharing will be part of the review
The review will focus on three sectors where the sharing economy is well established personal and commercial space; transport (car clubs and ride sharing); and time and skills. It will also look at sectors identified with growth potential, such as, fashion; food; and personal items (power tools).
Consumers, businesses operating in the sharing economy and those businesses facing competition from the sharing economy will be among those targeted for evidence. Overall the review will:
- challenge and define the concept of the sharing economy
- explore the potential benefits and risks of the sharing economy
- understand the main issues faced by businesses within the sharing economy
- investigate the main regulatory and policy issues from the perspective of consumers, sharing economy businesses and established businesses
- make recommendations to government and industry on how the sharing economy can reach its potential in the UK
The consultation runs until 28 October and the review is expected to be completed by December.