Sharing economy

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The sharing economy (also called peer-to-peer economy) is economic activity that involves individuals buying or selling usually temporary access to goods or services especially as arranged through an online company or organization.[1]


Some notable examples include the renting platform Airbnb and the ridesharing platform Uber.

CouchSurfing connects people who have a spare bed or couch and are willing to share it with others for free, opening up the world to travel for people who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

Prosper allows people to loan each other money (i.e., cutting out the middleman). Kickstarter can get projects of wildly differing sizes and variety funded. Elance provides a way for freelancers to find work. And Craigslist is basically one giant garage sale.

Through Patreon, fans of various creators can offer a monthly donation that will automatically be withdrawn from their account, effectively giving these artists a salary.

DonorSee is a charity that connects supplier with “customer” directly and in real-time, allowing users to transfer cash to individual needs posted by on-site aid workers who know better than anyone what needs are truly urgent.[2]


  1. Sharing economy, Merriam-Webster. Referenced on 12-06-2016.
  2. Nicholas Freiling. How the Uber for Charity is Revolutionizing Humanitarian Work, Foundation for Economic Education, October 05, 2016.