A defining feature of the Sharing Economy is that it operates more from the bottom up, than the top down - driven more by our peers, than remote and faceless organisations.
Why has it emerged?
Many of us are possibly content with, or at least resigned to, the principle that all of the ‘big things’ in our lives have to be handed over to some large central controlling power - be that a big bank or government, from cradle to grave.
Once every generation or two however, an idea emerges that builds on a movement towards a world of choice.
The breakthrough in today’s world comes from the connected technology we use everyday, coupled up with simple underlying concepts like collaborative consumption.
Put all of this together and you open up the conditions for an idea whose time has come, changing the ways that we access goods and services, spend our money and approach important life investments.
Building in momentum.
The growth of the Sharing Economy has been picking up momentum throughout this decade.
The breadth and depth of widely different but successful enterprises have moved from the periphery of the public eye to a new status as household names, each exploring and testing a new boundary - nationally and internationally.
Think transport and the alternative ride-share solution, Uber, or if two wheels are more your style the partnerships happening for bike-sharing in cities across the globe.
Think finance and how crowd funding solutions like Kickstarter are already becoming old hat as they become more widespread, and a common part of the options people have to put the “unused value” of capital they may be sitting on to good use.
Peer-to-peer lending adds another important building block to the worldwide emergence of Sharing Economy exemplars that have been gaining traction country by country.
In 2005, UK-based Zopa - apparently an acronym for "zone of possible agreements", as well as a Tibetan name meaning patience - was the first company in the world to offer a facility for peer-to-peer lending and borrowing as a genuine alternative to traditional banks, closely followed by US entrants Prosper and Lending Club.
In the Southern hemisphere, New Zealand has taken a lead with what, in the intuitive stakes, is a hard-to-beat name for their first and only two-way, peer-to-peer lending platform: Harmoney.
Interested in learning more about Harmoney? Check out our website today.