Today is the first National Sharing Day - a country-wide campaign to get Brits and British businesses sharing, organised by The People Who Share and backed by organisations including M&S and The Big Society Network. The People Who Share are calling on consumers to join the campaign and help build the Sharing Economy; through everything from organising home swap holidays with www.Lovehomeswap.com, to joining a local car sharing service found on www.compareandshare.com and even swapping skills to get a job done through www.shmoney.org. Whether it's travel, tools, threads or a task that you need - swapping is the smart way to get it.
Earlier this year I launched Collaborative Consumption Europe , a forum for the business leaders and pioneers driving the growth of the sharing space to help build the collaborative business sector, share best practice and develop. Now National Sharing Day is promoting the benefits of sharing for consumers and showing how easy it is to get involved. It launched this morning with a discussion on the benefits of sharing for consumers and corporations alike, and continues with regional events up and down the country; from a lending event for BT staff in Ipswich, to a book share in Brighton and a great goods giveaway in Liverpool .
From a business point of view, today is a chance for share businesses - those that encourage people to swap and share for the things they need - to shout about what they do and draw attention to this burgeoning sector. The backing of the event by M&S illustrates the success of sharing; consumers are seeking out savvier and more social ways to get the things they need. Not only that, the UK Sharing Economy has been valued at £22.4 billion, making this very big business indeed! And no wonder - sharing saves money. People have reported savings of £10,000 choosing home swap holidays over hotels and over £20,000 a year just by swapping clothes, tools and travel instead of buying new.
With National Sharing Day bringing organised swaps and shares to local communities, as well as highlighting the nationwide online sharing networks - it looks like sharing is set to grow and grow. And everyone's doing it - it's no longer about keeping up with the Jones' - it's about sharing with them!
Debbie Wosskow is the founder of Collaborative Consumption Europe and CEO/Founder of www.LoveHomeSwap.com.
Follow Debbie Wosskow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lovehomeswap