The sharing economy may have led to several multi-billion-dollar successes like AirBnb and Kickstarter, and brought the community back into fashion in Europe, but it surely has its share of critics. Many today wonder whether the sharing economy makes sense for the Arab world, and if it can solve any of the region’s problems.
By now, a convincing argument has been made for the need to speed up the transition to a more collaborative region. But, if you remain skeptical, here are four ways the sharing economy could tackle some of the region’s, and the world’s, biggest challenges.
“Accelerating poverty reduction and sustaining human development improvement are significant challenges for the region in the future,” according to a recent World Bank report. In the Arab world, household consumption accounted for as much as 44% of the region’s economy, higher than China’s 35%, which indicates that as the middle class grows, consumers are buying more and more.
Sharing Solution: Sharing initiatives, like tool libraries, for example, can reduce costs for families by lowering the rates of household consumption. At such facilities, books are replaced with tools in order to “mutualize” resources so that people don’t have to buy tools they would only use once in a while, such as saws, drills, or chisels. Each of these tools is available either for free or for a small fee, increasing the efficiency of each device and helping users save money.