There are now 17 billion-dollar companies in the collaborative economy with billions more of investment being poured into Uber, Airbnb and others. Described as one of the biggest shifts of this century, the rise of what’s now being touted as the freelance economy supports nearly 15.5 million people according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—an increase of roughly 1 million since May 2014— and by 2020, another report estimates that more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers—freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.
New companies that empower individuals to become micro-entrepreneurs not only stimulate the economy by creating new revenue streams and disrupting outdated models of business, but provide individuals access to more fulfilling, rewarding, and authentic lives.
“At the University of Oxford, and in the first MBA course dedicated to the collaborative economy, an important question is being asked: Can decentralised and distributed networks of labour actually contribute to the redistribution of wealth? As rising inequality is recognised not only as a local but a global socio-economic concern, what role will micro-entrepreneurship play? This isn’t just about more informal employment relationships, we think, but about the bigger questions of social contract, rights, duties, and responsibilities in this emerging ecosystem of work and community.” —The Conversation