While it may be something of a misnomer, the so-called “sharing economy” has a new government-backed trade body in the U.K., which includes the likes of Airbnb, Bla Bla Car, and Zipcar as founding members.

Sharing Economy UK (SEUK) has been set up to “champion the UK’s sharing economy businesses,” and was launched by Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Matthew Hancock. SEUK is a not-for-profit voluntary group that will set out to “champion the sector, ensure best practice and act as a single voice for the industry.”

In a clear sign of the emerging economy around, well, “sharing,” this is actually the second such trade body to be established in the U.K., following the launch of UKShareCo last year. But with government backing and a number of the big global “sharing economy” brands on board, SEUK could well emerge as the preeminent body.

This follows the publication of an independent review last year, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, called “Unlocking the UK’s Sharing Economy,” which looked at how Britain could become a “global centre” for the sharing economy. There are now many “sharing economy” startups operating in the country, and London is actually third in Airbnb’s top cities list for active property listings, after Paris and New York.

Other members of SEUK at launch include Appear Here, Compare and Share, EasyCar, Echo, Hassle.com, Liftshare, Love Home Swap, Nimber, and One Fine Stay.


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