Sharing economy 'to boom to £140bn within next 10 years' - PwC

Keys in door
By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

29 June 2016

The UK’s sharing economy is tipped to grow to 20 times its current worth within the next 10 years, new research by PwC has found.

The Big Four firm said that the sharing economy – which includes companies such as Airbnb and Uber – is predicted to increase from £7 billion today to £140 billion by 2025. The sector is forecast to grow by 30% each year.

PwC forecasts that on-demand household services will be the fastest growing of the sharing economy sectors.

Researchers said this would be driven by a “new generation of consumers who are increasingly turning to on-demand services to resolve their needs around the home”.

What is the sharing economy?

The sharing economy includes services and businesses where people borrow or rent something directly from the owner – such as accommodation, food, cars, designer clothes, and even pets – which is generally co-ordinated via the internet. Businesses founded on the concept of borrowing instead of buying include:

A ‘try-before-you-buy’ art service that lets you rent contemporary art online, which you can then choose to buy or swap for something else.


A food sharing app connecting neighbours so leftover food can be shared, with the aim of reducing waste.


Now a global company, TaskRabbit enables people to hire ‘taskers’ to do errands and household chores – from assembling flat pack furniture to doing your grocery shopping.

Love dogs but can't commit to full-time pet ownership? This website matches dog owners with local borrowers for walks in the park and holiday sitting.


A London-based peer-to-peer accommodation start-up that allows people to rent upmarket and luxury homes directly from owners.

The five major sharing economy sectors

  1. Collaborative finance
  2. Peer-to-peer accommodation
  3. Peer-to-peer transportation
  4. On-demand household services
  5. On-demand professional services

Over the past 12 months, the UK’s sharing economy has grown faster than the rest of Europe, driven by London’s place as a global FinTech hub, PwC said.

Rob Vaughan, economist at PwC, said the sector had matured into an established socio-economic trend, which is changing the way people lead their lives.

He added: “From freelancing platforms altering the way we work to food-sharing platforms creating ways to connect in local communities, sharing economy businesses are enabling new economic and social interactions within the UK and across Europe.

“This is especially true in the UK, which is, and we expect to remain, a hub in the European sharing economy landscape. A strong start-up scene and proactive support from policy-makers and regulators has empowered the UK’s position so far, but other European countries are hungry for a slice of the action. As more policy frameworks are updated and the reach of sharing economy players expands outside their most mature markets, we expect other countries to gradually catch up with the UK.”

Source: PwC


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