You don’t have to go far to find reports on the so-called ‘sharing economy’, with recent estimates suggesting this new wave of entrepreneurs are adding £500 million a year to the UK economy – a figure that is set to rise to £9 billion a year by 2025.
But who are these hardworking individuals making money from the sharing economy?
Our latest research reveals the face of the typical sharing economy user as a 25-34-year-old male living in London. Third of all sharing economy users in the UK using Etsy’s peer-to-peer marketplace to sell their products and services.
The potential rewards for those willing to invest in the sharing, or gig economy, make for compelling reading. Earlier research from us into potential earnings from the sharing economy revealed that 20% of Brits make over £500 a week, with 3% earning over £78k a year. Two in five users are putting their profits aside for a rainy day; while a quarter spends their earned cash on luxuries and entertainment.
But it’s not just the money that drives people to use the sharing economy, with a third saying that the best thing about it is the ability to choose their own hours and 28% citing a better work-life balance as their top reason.
Looking to the future
And, the future’s looking rosy for gig economists. A third of the people we asked saw Airbnb as the most durable sharing economy service over the next few years, followed by Uber and Etsy, with half predicting their income to increase over the next few years.
However, being part of the sharing economy doesn’t come without its challenges. Finding enough time to devote to sharing economy business and managing taxes were cited as the top challenges users of the sharing economy face.
Rich Preece, Europe VP and Managing Director at Intuit, commented: “As more people go self-employed, sell services in their spare time, or alter their working patterns to earn additional income, one of their key challenges will be to ensure that managing the financial and tax aspects of their multiple revenue streams doesn’t take away time from actually bringing in money.”
When asked what support could be given to create more sharing economy users, a third believed granting internet access was critical. This was followed by the introduction of regulations to improve financial security and increase identity verification improvements so that criminal record checks could be implemented into services.
For more information, visit https://selfemployed.intuit.co.uk/.