It’s Global Sharing Week, and those behind Brighton and Hove sharing economy businesses have explained why the concept works so well in the city.
Benita Matofska is a Global Sharing Economy expert and the founder of Brighton-based social enterprise The People Who Share.
She said: “The sharing economy is an economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources. Simply put, it’s a way of life where we share available resources, however we can.”
Benita said the sharing economy is an umbrella term encompassing a whole range of concepts including: renting, swapping, the gig economy, co-working, co-living, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to name a few.
“Brighton has thriving creative, tech, innovation, voluntary and social enterprise sectors,” Benita said. “Brighton has a culture of disruption, activism happy to play the agent provocateur.
“From Ruth and Amy Anslow of HISBE, who have created a new model of supermarket based on principles of fairness and sharing, to Jacob Berkson, founder of Thousand 4 1000, an organisation that crowdfunds rent for refugees, and volunteer Claire Green who makes up packages for the homeless from unused hotel goods and toiletries, this is a city of change-makers, a community that sees things differently and believes that a sustainable economy based around people and planet is possible.”
Another Brighton-based sharing economy business is Airsorted, an Airbnb management company which takes care of cleaning, keys and communications for Airbnb users.
George Cocks, head of Brighton Airsorted, said: “I’ve was born in Sussex, but have travelled all over the world and I can happily say this city is one of the most caring, and sharing places I’ve ever been.
“It’s no coincidence that people in Brighton are more open to offering their homes to the thousands of people around the world.
“Airsorted lets people more easily take advantage of the sharing economy by taking the hassle away from Airbnbing your home.
“We do all the cleaning, communications and key holding, while our sharers can make up to £3,400 a month during the busy summer period, making it a nice bonus if your looking for a holiday or to make some home improvements.”
Trusted House Sitters, a Brighton firm which matches pet owners and petsitter, has been called a ‘sharing economy success story’ in the national press.
Jess Stephens, chief marketing of Trusted House Sitters, said: “Sharing economy businesses as a sector are growing at 30 per cent year-on-year. Much of that growth will come from the tech-savvy younger generation which is why Brighton might be a hub.
“That said, we are a sharing economy business and our largest demographic is the over 55s. It goes to show, if the business solves a common global problem rather than jumping on a trend, it can appeal to anyone.
“We love being based in Brighton, we have no trouble attracting talent due to the lifestyle.
“That’s what helps us achieve a global network with the aim to connect people and keep pets happier at home.”
To find out more about the sharing economy, visit: www.globalsharingweek.org