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the Access Economy: More than just a $110 billion dollar market opportunity

Rebecca Petzel September 6, 2011

* This blog post is by People Powered Capital track curator, Rebecca Petzel
This year at SOCAP we are exploring the meteoric rise of peer to peer marketplaces (commonly called Collaborative Consumption Start-ups), and the impact of moving towards an economy based on Access to shared goods. Airbnb has made headlines going mainstream at a remarkable pace, and Peer to Peer alternatives for car-sharing such as Getaround are giving ZipCar reasons to sweat. And this is just the tip of the iceberg: innovative start-ups are helping neighbors share meals, durable goods, baby clothes, the works. Many hope that the success of these start-ups will be instrumental in creating a new class of social entrepreneurs, building relationships, and building our economy while decreasing materials consumed – the holy grail in so many environmental circles.
In his July 20th Shareable article ‘Collaborative Consumption, It’s Not About the Money’, Paul M. Davis points out why this is not only an intriguing opportunity from an Impact Investment perspective, but potentially transformational for our economic model at large, stating:
“Sharing isn’t just a way to make startups profit and build a new economy of micro-entrepreneurs—it’s a cultural movement that has the power to build community, engagement and a new, more sustainable peer-to-peer economy, transforming how we define our interpersonal relationships in the process.”
San Francisco is home to some of the most successful and impactful of these start-ups, and we are lucky that Airbnb, Getaround, ThredUp, and Grubly will be joining us on Friday September 9th to discuss this growing opportunity that no impact investor or social entrepreneur should ignore.

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