The Technopolis Group Baltic office, in collaboration of Ernst&Young Baltic, have recently finished a study on economic and legal aspects of the sharing economy in Estonia. The main aim of the study was to map the sharing economy landscape, and identify key online platforms, main drivers, barriers and future growth perspectives. The study covered transport, accommodation, finance, private and professional services, and education.
The sharing economy refers to business models where economic activities are facilitated by collaborative platforms, which create an open marketplace for temporary usage of underexploited goods or services. The increasing use and development of digital platforms has created numerous new phenomena and commercial opportunities. Among these, new business models, where individuals act as service providers, have emerged as one of the economic forms which is developing the fastest and changing the conventional economic environment.
In Estonia, the biggest turnover from online platforms was generated in the finance and accommodation sectors. In 2015, the finance sector created about half of the overall turnover of sharing economy companies. In the same year, the accommodation sector generated around a third of the total turnover. The other three sectors – transportation, private and business services, and education – together made less than a third of the total turnover.
In general, the study found that the sharing economy in Estonia should grow by about 27% in comparison with the traditional economy by 2020 (ass uming a growth rate of 5% for the traditional economy). The existing legal environment supports the development of the sharing economy, but perhaps needs ‘fine-tuning’ and adjusting with the changing business environment. For sustainable long-term economic development, it is justified to support the development of the sharing economy and preferably relax business regulations for the entire entrepreneurship sector. In addition, the study recommends that flexible working conditions be integrated into existing labour market legislation.Tweet