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Will the sharing economy save South Africa?

The current economic policies of both the public and private sector clearly aren’t working. With 67% of South Africa’s youth being jobless, having  shed 21,000 jobs since 2013, the situation is exacerbated by  1,5 to 2 million new job seekers entering the fray each year.

Until China reverts to its infrastructural investment policy and requires our commodities to drive up both the prices and the quantities produced, we will sit and languish at virtually zero growth.

As China changes direction in creating a consumer-led economic recovery, it will need less and less of our expensive, labour-driven goods and services.

The Eurozone is also experiencing low growth, while the US will soon be caught in a high debt trap with low growth.

Right now the world is so over-borrowed in public and private debt that its borrowings average 265% of the global GDP (in 2014, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, the gross world product totalled approximately $107,5 trillion in terms of purchasing power parity, and around $78,28 trillion in nominal terms).

So what is working around the globe?

The sharing economy is unleashing itself on the back of the internet and social media. Companies and businesses are being spawned and growing at breath-taking rates, unparalleled in human history.

These companies don’t have assets to sweat! They have learned that the leaders of today do not rely on their authority but rather on their influence.

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The game changers.

For example, Google and Apple are generating huge revenues in the relatively new app marketplace. These companies take 30% of your revenue just for placing your stock on their shelves! They don’t advertise it or market it or promote it. That is up to you to do via their advertising channels which costs you more money and goes back to Google and Apple.

They have the global shop window to the world and the delivery system that people trust with their credit cards. They don’t take the risk if your app fails to perform, but they benefit hugely if it takes off as the latest ’gotta have.

What about the other newcomers to the sharing economy, like Facebook, LinkedIn , Airbnb and Uber, to name a few?

They have a few thousand employees each and have between 200 million to 1 billion users benefiting from being associated with their non-asset delivery systems – systems which are more efficient and cheaper.

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South Africans must embrace these sharing economy businesses and rent out rooms to Airbnb and become Uber drivers, and use LinkedIn to develop new customers and clients.

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Those South Africans who can develop the next Uber or Airbnb can lay the platform for mega wealth if they crack the motherload.

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We are at the beginning of the journey of the sharing economy: there are more opportunities than ever being created as the old asset-based economy gives way to the sharing economy.

Find ways to change the old order of things by using technology to finesse the process towards the sharing economy. For example, a simple app can be produced to allow neighbours to share rides to work and save on petrol, motor vehicle running costs and allow your car replacement expenses to be stretched out considerably due to being used less frequently. You can get local businesses to advertise on your app serving your neighbourhood.

Another example is to create an app that informs your neighbours what you do for a living if you are self-employed and how you can help them. Create a neighbourhood economy wherever possible, keeping the money in your neighbourhood and increasing your neighbourhood’s wealth. Once again, local businesses will advertise to their target market via your app.

Look at how everything is being done and see where you can change the order of things by using the sharing economy. We are at the dawn of the revolution of the sharing economy. Vive la Revolution!



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