A new way of doing things: the rise of the sharing economy

8th August 2013


‘If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together’ – African Proverb

Ok, it might be a little cheesy, but this sentiment is the driving force behind the emergence of a wave of start-ups that are profoundly changing the way we travel, work, consume, play, shop, mobilise and socialise.

New technologies connect us to information, to other people, wider communities and physical things in real time, and in ever more efficient ways. In a world where there is colossal amount of consumption of private resources for personal benefit, the concept of sharing goods and assets is really gaining momentum.

Sharing economy start-ups like AirbnbBla Bla Car and GoCarShare help users benefit from sharing underutilised assets like spare rooms and passenger seats in a car journey. We’re building an online food marketplace within this new economy to make it easier for people and communities to come together to access locally sourced food. And we’re in good company. A number of UK based peer-to-peer food start-ups are doing some pretty special things like the food swapping initiative Apples for Eggs and Casserole, who help people share extra portions of food that they have cooked to other people in their local area.

But it’s not just physical assets that can be shared, swapped or bartered for – less tangible resources like time and space can also be exchanged…

In the very, very early days of FarmDrop, we pitched up at a co-working space and startup lab called the Hub Westminster where we found ourselves suddenly immersed in a vibrant community of socially minded startups and projects all looking to share ideas, inspiration and collaborate. We even met some of our future team members from conversations about FarmDrop over washing up coffee cups!

We’re always keen to meet other sharing economy startups, so we were really excited to meet with the guys at GoodPeople. GoodPeople are creating a new way for social entrepreneurs and like-minded people to open up and harness relevant knowledge and resources over the Internet. FarmDrop’s George went along to a meet-up with the good people at GoodPeople and a handful of other inspiring start-up social entrepreneurs. They shared ideas, resources, contacts, and connections together and it was a perfect opportunity to see how the collaborative economy works in its simplest form.

GoodPeople are aiming to launch a collaborative/sharing based social website (in development now) which will help cater for this fast growing economy. It’s a really interesting concept and if you like the sound of what they’re up to head over to for more info.

For more info on the sharing economy be sure to check out this article by the Guardian

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