PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), estimates that the sharing economy will have a worldwide impact of more than $300 billion in 2025.
The main characteristic of the sharing economy is to connect, to link one person offering a product, good or service with another person who is interested in having it without needing to formally establish a business that requires the investment of millions of dollars. These days we are seeing more and more examples of how the sharing economy, together with the creativity of entrepreneurs worldwide, is revolutionizing daily aspects of daily life, such as:
- Uber: the largest “public” transportation company, doesn’t own a single car.
- Airbnb: the biggest overnight accommodation firm, doesn’t own even one hotel.
- Alibaba: the world’s largest seller of products, has no warehouses with a stock of goods waiting to be shipped.
These are clear examples of how creativity has disrupted traditional business to become a new business model by itself. And if we conceive of these firms, based on creativity, as a business model, what are the main benefits of that model? From my point of view, the answer includes the following:
- Social value: through innovation and technology, the sharing economy fosters positive social values such as collaboration and human interaction. Also, it has the capability of reduce negative externalities own of traditional economies.
- Connectivity: the sharing economy is predicated on connections, for which the internet is the tool that matches supply and demand, overcoming obstacles of time and distance.
- Entrepreneurship: the real impact of the sharing economy can generate job opportunities quickly and efficiently, promoting entrepreneurship while at the same time unleashing the wave of innovation needed to face challenging situations that confront societies around the world, and urban areas in particular.
Starting roughly a year ago, the city of Washington DC has undergone a phase of Metro repairs aimed at offering a better public transportation service to commuters. In response, we developed “¿me llevas?” (“give me a ride”), a carpooling app for employees of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), hoping to offer a creative solution to the challenges facing the city. Today, 30 percent of IDB staff is using the app.
With this in mind, the city of Washington DC, launched GoDCgo, an initiative that promotes sustainable transportation– and which named “¿me llevas?” the area´s Best Carpooling Program. In the process, we have become the first startup from an international organization in the Washington DC Metro Area to receive an award for its contribution to meeting urban challenges, while also fostering entrepreneurship and of course sustainable transportation.
Angélica Bernal Linares, founder of the “¿me llevas?” carpooling app,
the first startup from an international organization,
named Best Carpooling Program in the Washington DC Metro Area by GoDCGo.
This is an example of how the sharing economy works, as a creative catalyst that allows for economic and social adaptation in cities, generating a safe and innovative ecosystem in our communities.
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