This post was written by our Co-Founder JuIiet Eccleston

As readers of this blog will know, I’m fascinated by new industry models like the sharing economy and the potential it holds for people and businesses. In recent blogs, I’ve gone into more detail about just why the growth of the sharing economy is something that we should all view with optimism, and why it can be so powerful in helping us harness the power of our personal networks. This week, I was reading an interesting article on the World Economic Forum website reflecting on some of the expected sharing economy trends in 2019, and while I don’t necessarily agree with them all, there were certainly some interesting points raised.

So, what trends can we expect in 2019?

Demographic shifts for the sharing economy

It looks like over the coming months, the sharing economy will be driven increasingly by previously underrepresented demographics, such as the emerging middle class, women and the elderly. According to the World Economic Forum, for the first time in human history, the middle class represents the majority of the global population – and it is projected to double in the next 10 years, to 5.2 billion people. Women are also expected to be responsible for two-thirds of the rise in all disposable income in the next decade, along with larger numbers of ageing residents in the US, Japan across Europe and beyond. Each of these demographics will play a bigger role within the sharing economy, and contribute to making it even more mainstream.

More growth

Something that I’m happy to predict is that, while lots of companies may struggle in the ever-changing landscape of the sharing economy, rapid growth will continue. This year will see the first sharing economy IPOs with Lyft and Uber both going public, with both valued at a huge £94.7bn £11.8bn respectively, and economic predictions estimate that these business models will be worth $335 billion by 2025. In terms of users, Warwick Business School has identified a 60% growth of people using the sharing economy in the last 18 months. However, in this arms race to grow, we cannot forget that building a thriving, sustainable sharing economy platform depends on trust. Platforms that strive to grow too fast, or compromise customer trust, may run into difficulties. Luckily, we believe companies in the sharing economy are best placed to build more transparent, open models of business than ever before, something we’ve been striving to do at AnyGood?

Regulation and innovation

An issue that’s been on our radar for a long time, and especially something we’ve taken into account when joining the sharing economy, is how platforms can best work together with policy-makers for mutual success. As we’ve previously seen, there have been many clashes between local and government authorities and certain platforms due to the disruption they have caused. However, while there will be challenges to face, I believe we’ll see more collaboration between the two groups over the next 12 months. This is crucial in order to change outdated rules that weren’t built with these sharing economy companies in mind. There have definitely been promising developments already. Denmark, for example, which became the first country to enable Airbnb hosts to report income directly to tax authorities.

More mainstream than ever

Nowadays, the term ‘sharing economy’ has become so commonplace that many companies are latching onto it without any ‘actual’ sharing being involved. However, on the upside, I believe that this shows that the sharing economy is increasingly being seen as part of ‘the economy’ itself. The fact that the term is so ubiquitous, despite many companies just getting starting in the field, is extremely promising. This has happened to such an extent that the word ‘Uberise’ is now in the Collins English Dictionary, described as ‘subjecting an industry to a business model in which services are offered on demand through direct contact between a customer and a supplier, usually via mobile technology.’

At AnyGood? we truly believe that a sharing economy model will not only be the model that helps us bring trust back to recruitment, but also the business model of the future. However, while the pace of change is exciting, sharing economy companies must make sure that they don’t resort to the same practices that made them such attractive alternatives to traditional industries in the first place. At AnyGood? our platform is aimed at creating a fairer, equitable hiring process, with a model worthy of people’s trust, giving members the ability to use the power of their networks and enabling all parties to benefit from the sharing of resources.

Interested in becoming a member and monetising your network? Join AnyGood? Today