On the 15th of February, we had the chance to welcome several speakers to discuss about the collaborative economy. That debate is part of the want of our organization to explore new sources of inspirations for entrepreneurs in the Brussels Capital Region.

The MIC Brussels welcomed a panel of speakers from various fields: authors Christophe Charlot (“UberizeME”) and Matthieu Lietaert (“Homo Cooperans 2.0”); investor Claire Munck (CEO of BeAngels); positive economy specialist Thierry Vandebroek (CEO of Poseco); entrepreneurs Sébastien Scoumanne (cofounder of ListMinut) and Augustin Van Rijkevorsel (founder of Kowo). This selection offered a diversified and complete overview of the collaborative economy in the startup ecosystem.

The collaborative economy weight is growing. According to PwC, the total amount of the transactions might be multiplied by twenty in ten years and reach 570 billion dollars in 2025. Moreover 85% of this value goes to individuals. 

During the ninety minutes of debate, many subjects were discussed. The speakers helped seeing the bigger picture of the collaborative economy through history and definitions but especially experiences. The debate started with the definition of the collaborative economy. A consensus that emerged was the numerous possibilities of that answer and the different models that result from it.

Another important aspect of the collaborative economy is, of course, the image of that emerging trend. Is there “collaborative-washing”*? The answer was positive and, more than that, there is a “start-up washing”. The positive impacts of the collaborative models were another key subject of the first part. How can we make sure the benefits also go to society? Not every company as the common good as a goal.

The second part of the debate focused on the startup point of view. Several practical characteristics were highlighted. One of them was the trust between individuals, which is key for the proper functioning of the collaborative platforms. As for the fiscal frame, Listminut explained how they pushed for a more adapted fiscal law for platforms as Listminut. One other important subject was how this type of work will evolve. Will it become more professionalized?

While the model had bright days ahead, these subjects – trust, fiscal frame, positive economy and the job market among others – need to be addressed in order to keep everyone in the loop. Thanks to the input of the speakers invited, we had an overview of the main issues the collaborative economy is going to face in the next years. How is it actually going to evolve? How important is the collaborative economy going to be in our lives? Only time will tell. Meanwhile and through its program, the MIC Brussels is ready to support these entrepreneurs validate their business and grow.

 

* When the collaborative model is used as a marketing tool by companies.