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What is the sharing economy?


Does the term collaborative economy ring a bell? Maybe you had not read or heard it so far but you are more in touch with it than you imagine. Let’s give you a very familiar example so that you understand a little more about what it is:

It’s 12 o’clock at night and you leave the bar with your friends. There is no longer public transport and driving after having a few extra drinks is an exponential risk. So you decide to open your application and request an Uber to take you home. The app notifies you who your driver will be, what car will take you, and the cost that will be charged to your credit or debit card. Believe it or not, in this simple action that seems part of your ordinary life, you are being part of the collaborative economy, but what is it?

The collaborative economy

It is based on a main premise which is “sharing rather than possessing“. It is a worldwide trend that promotes the exchange of goods and services between people with the help of technology and the most important thing is that it seeks to maximize the usefulness of resources to generate more sustainable cities from an economic and environmental point of view, which directly cause an improvement in the quality of life of people.


How is this possible?

Simple. Based on the previous example, we can realize that in the request for an Uber service we are participating in the exchange of a service through a technological platform, the driver is maximizing the utility of the car because from being private it happens to be shared, which generates a utility, which translates directly into an economic benefit for the service provider. It also reduces pollution by the shared use of one car instead of two and improves the quality of life of both, for the profit of the provider and for the security it guarantees to the user. Do you realize that you’ve been participating for a long time and hadn’t even noticed?

The importance of the Internet

Internet penetration has been a fundamental factor in the development of the collaborative economy. Only in Mexico, according to data from El Economista, a Mexican spends on average 7 hours and 14 minutes a day on the internet, where we create contact networks, friendship, sales, information, etc.

The collaborative economy has indirectly contributed to reinventing traditional businesses in exchange for the sense of belonging disappearing to give way to access and sharing.

Currently we are not only connected with those people regardless of our location, but we are also just a click away from our favorite products and services, regardless of the physical place where they are. This is one of the main characteristics of the collaborative economy, sharing through the network.

Startups = Collaborative Economy?

Another very important concept is Startup, but what does it have to do with the collaborative economy? Today, most of those who create a Startup are based on the business model of the collaborative economy. But let’s define this concept:

The website defines emprendepyme.net a Startup as an entrepreneurial company (small or medium) but with great possibilities to grow. It is a human organization with great capacity for change, which develops products and / or services taking advantage of technology. It mainly seeks that the customer experience is easy and simple to use.

Mexico City, pioneer in the creation of Startups

According to data from the Ministry of Economy (SE), around 35,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are created in Mexico, of which 6% of these are owned by young people between 18 and 24 years old. They are betting on the use of technology to offer their products and services, which opens up a world of possibilities.

Of these entrepreneurs, most are concentrated within Mexico City, as shown by the study called “Promoting the Startup ecosystem in Latin America: Transforming the region with Global Impact” prepared by the Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

It concluded that Mexico City is the entity in the country with the most Startups nationwide, remaining with 32% of them, followed by Guadalajara that concentrates 10% and Monterrey in third place with 8%. It is not surprising that this is the case, since these are the three main cities of the country, where a greater number of inhabitants are concentrated who in turn require a greater number of products and services, in addition to there is a greater entry to technology. They meet the perfect requirements to generate an even greater sharing economy.

The sharing economy knows no limits

The opening to the sharing of goods and services has broadened the panorama of them, and today there are hundreds of offers that as the days go by grow more and more. Here are some examples of products and services where you don’t necessarily have to acquire them as property:

  • Transportation: In this type of services you do not need to be the owner of the car or bike, you can request a private service or share someone else’s car. In some cases, such as the bike service, the service is not requested directly from a digital platform, but it does use technology for its operation.
  • Accommodation: little by little the ads outside the buildings to rent an apartment are finished. Nowadays, there are applications where you can offer a room that you do not use or otherwise you can find a room to rent. Or also to simply stay, for a more affordable price.
  • Internet sales: It is a strong trend, which has revolutionized the way we acquire products. There are platforms where you can buy products from other countries, exchange them, etc. no matter where you are and the best known always ensure your safety.
  •  Online loans: cumbersome paperwork, endless lines and eternal response times are slowly over. Today from a platform you can apply for a loan and they solve you in minutes. A very specific example is La Tasa, a startup in which, in addition to making loans to people with excellent credit history, it is also an option for investors.

This is just a small group of examples of startups based on the collaborative economy. It is not necessary to be present, the procedure is online and you can be a consumer or service provider without necessarily owning the good or service.


Go ahead and take advantage of the collaborative economy!

As we could see in the previous examples, there is no limit to the supply of goods and services. You can be an active participant, if you are not already an active participant. There are three angles from which you can participate: as a consumer, service provider or startup owner.

Not only can you find an economic benefit in any of these, but you can also contribute to an environmental improvement, why? For the optimization of resources. For example. By sharing your car, you contribute to polluting less, because instead of four cars circulating, one with four passengers can circulate.

Don’t forget the premise: sharing instead of owning. Today, thanks to the collaborative economy, we all win. So… What are you waiting for? Dare and participate even more in this new business model.

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