UK trade body formed to represent Britain’s sharing economy

SEUK will act as a single voice for sharing economy to champion sector and ensure best practice

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A new trade body established to represent and champion the UK’s sharing economy businesses will be launched today by business enterprise and energy minister Matthew Hancock.

Sharing Economy UK (SEUK) was founded by 21 members from across all sharing sectors, including Zipcar, Osborne Clarke, Airbnb and Tech City. The launch follows last year’s independent review, ‘Unlocking the UK’s Sharing Economy’ – commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to assess how the UK could seize the opportunity to become a global hub for the sharing economy.

The report recommended that UK sharing economy businesses form a trade body to represent their rights and establish common practice. The author of the independent review Debbie Wosskow, founder of Startups-100 listed LoveHomeSwap, will chair the body for the first year – a role which will change annually.

The voluntary membership group will encourage consumers and businesses to share and utilise their assets such as cars and homes, as well as championing the sector and ensuring best practice. As well as signing up for Code of Conduct, an annual conference will be arranged and research published into issues affecting the sharing economy.

Alongside Wosskow, the board is made up of Andrew Saul of Osborne Clarke, Patrick Robinson of Airbnb, Matthew McStravick of Echo and Alex Depledge from

Wosskow commented: “It was clear following the launch of the report that sharing economy businesses were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of a trade body.

“The UK has all the tools to become the global home to sharing economy businesses, but to date our industry has been missing that one body to champion the sector. Today’s launch is an important step and I look forward to working with all members over the next twelve months, and beyond.”

Hancock added: “Last year Debbie Wosskow wrote a groundbreaking review that put up in lights the exciting opportunities of the UK’s sharing economy. She drew up a list of policies and practices that will prove a shot in the arm to help these innovative young businesses grow.

“I applaud her foresight and am delighted to support her new Sharing Economy UK – the strong voice for sharing economy businesses, big and small, giving consumers more choice and advancing this new frontier of online businesses.”

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