Apparently there are over a thousand collaborative economy enterprises in the UK! The question framing the event last week asked what can government do to remove barriers that may be hindering the growth of the collaborative economy – to which there were no shortage of answers.
One of the greatest challenges of the Collaborative Economy is how it fits in to existing regulations and laws – when does someone that rents a spare room on an occasional basis on Airbnb become a b&b owner and have to abide by all the local laws and regulations that b&b owners need to abide by, and likewise for an Uber driver – at what point do they become a taxi driver?
This is why it is so important to get Governments on-side on tackle these issues. Some are straightforward problems that are easy to solve; others are more knotty and cracking them will almost certainly add complexity to the system.
Finally the event appears to have highlighted how broad a church the collaborative economy is. And how long it can retain its integrity as ‘one thing’, when it is so clearly many things (and some things not yet conceived).
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