Wikipedia, AirBnB and BlaBlacar…what do they have in common? Get to know 4 innovative companies related to the sharing economy.

Time to share! This is demonstrated by the birth and development of new economic models based on relationships and collaboration, which allow new economic opportunities. It’s the Sharing Economy!

It happened to everyone to read in the newspaper or to hear about Sharing Economy.

However, it’s a process that is affecting individuals, administrations, businesses.

What is The Sharing Economy

In the current global context, new service models allow people to exchange and share goods, spaces and skills, promoting lifestyles that allow savings, redistribution of money and socialization. This model is called Sharing Economy.

In particular, the sharing economy is characterized by the direct contact between supply and demand, through websites or mobile apps.

A constantly evolving economic model that has rethought the exchange of goods and services between people by redesigning social and consumer coordinates.

The digital revolution has allowed a greater diffusion of the internet, technology, online communities and new technological platforms, such as Apps.

What Are Its Advantages

The advantages of the sharing economy are different. The sharing economy allows to optimize the use of material goods, generating two benefits:

  1. increase of revenues;
  2. cost reduction.

The effects of this type of economy are also seen on the job market: the chances of finding new jobs increase and saving is one of the great drivers of the sharing economy.

If I consume less, or I do it in sharing, I generate less waste of resources. This is why the peer-to-peer economy is extremely compatible with the sustainability objectives of governments.

What Are Its Disadvantages

But, what are the disadvantages of the sharing economy?

Firstly, a strengthening of the shared economy could be a disadvantage for big manufacturing companies, which would see their turnover fall by reducing labour demand and output.

According to some, the sharing economy has the disadvantage of not being sustainable. For example, companies like Uber have accumulated millions of dollars in debt.

Covid-19 could have caused the crisis of many share economy businesses, showing the vulnerable side of shared consumption.

Innovative Companies of Sharing Economy

Almost all sectors of the market are affected by the sharing economy: transport and tourism, but also the food and culture are growing.

There are many examples and success cases of innovative companies that have become great responding to the needs of people and giving life to the phenomenon of sharing economy. In this article, we offer you some.


Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia compiled thanks to the contribution of volunteers, united to form an online community. Wikipedia was born in 2001, supported and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a US non-profit organization.

In this case, members of a community participate free in the construction of a common good. Wikipedia falls whitin the framework of knowledge sharing. People make their knowledge available to the community.

The unit of measurement is the time, each of us takes to offer our knowledge to the community; knowledge that is part of a circular sharing process.


Airbnb is an online portal that connects people looking for accommodation or a room for short periods, with people who have an extra space to rent, usually private. The site was opened in October 2007 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

You can share your home with other people or, simply, one or more rooms; it differs from the classic concept of B&B, getting closer to that of a shared house.


BlaBlaCar is a carpooling web platform that operates in 22 countries. With 80 million users it’s the most used in the world. Frédéric Mazzella, Nicolas Brusson and Francis Nappez are the founders of Blablacar.

Blablacar is an example of car sharing. Through a specific application, you can travel low cost by sharing car rides and sharing the costs with the driver and possibly with other passengers.

This service is used within sustainable mobility policies.

Peer 2 Peer University

P2PU (or Peer 2 Peer University) is an online and in-person, non-profit open learning community. Users can organise or just participate in courses and study groups to learn about specific topics. It’s a sharing economy platform.

What will be the future of the Sharing Economy?

Because of the Covid-19, the sharing economy has suffered consequences.

Uber witnessed an 80% drop in business and Airbnb’s house rentals were canceled due to lockdowns. In addition, Uber has fired 6,700 employees and closed 45 offices.

It is important to recognize, that the effect of lockdowns on the sharing economy has not been uniform. While Uber and Airbnb have suffered huge losses, other companies and some start-ups are chasing the opportunities created by the pandemic. 

For example, Amazon Flex, the delivery service entrusted to ordinary citizens, has seen the registration of many new couriers since March.

The sharing economy is like a kind of third industrial revolution, where men and women produce and consume each other at a marginal cost close to zero, where gross domestic product does not count, but where it increases economic well-being, quality of life, democratization of the economic system in general.”

say Jeremy Rifkin, the visionary American economist.

If you enjoyed this article, we suggest you read our article on the Five Innovative Start-Ups of the Green Economy.