REVIEW #5: Emerging Sectors of the Sharing Economy in the Czech Republic

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Those who follow media news coverage on the sharing economy in the Czech Republic may get the impression that this new trend is limited mostly to two sectors: transportation and accommodation, where large international start-ups dominate. It is true that known brands, established international clientele and sufficient finances for the development of operation in the country are all concentrated within these two sectors. However, the phenomenon of a sharing (or collaborative) economy cannot be reduced only to these two sectors.

One of the key advantages of a sharing economy is that it brings such positive features of the Internet as the instant matching of supply and demand or the availability of information on every participant through the process of individual reviews and references into real everyday life. This feature has a great potential to reshape various sectors where, a few years ago, only services of traditional providers were available.

There are three sectors that may, at present, be less under the spotlight but where some aspects of the sharing economy have already taken roots in the Czech Republic:

  • debt crowdfunding,

  • carsharing platforms,

  • real estate marketplaces.

In order to map the current share of the sharing economy and how it influences the operation of traditional service providers in the particular sectors, available quantitative data needs to be analyzed. The data presented in this article is based on a study prepared by the Association for international affairs (AMO) for the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic in the spring of 20161.

DEBT CROWDFUNDING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The term “crowdfunding”, taken with a grain of salt, could be considered as a sharing economy label within the financial sector. It indicates that a larger number of people come together via an online platform for a specific purpose – donating for a charity project, participating in an increase of registered capital in a trading company, or (in the case of debt crowdfunding) participating in the provision of a loan. Individual investors have possibilities to invest in projects which would otherwise be inaccessible to most of them due to the lack of information or limited means to invest. On the other hand, those who seek funds can gain new sources of possible financing through crowdfunding.

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1 Kruliš K. and Rezková A. Analýza vybraných sektorů sdílené ekonomiky v České republice. May 11, 2016. Available [online]: http://www.amo.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/amocz_RP_2_2016_web.pdf

Krystof Krulis
4liberty.eu