Moderated by Dorian Warren, Ph.D., fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, MSNBC contributor, and board chair of the Center for Community Change, “The Sharing Economy” panel at TechConneXt 2016 discussed ways blacks and other people of color can benefit from launching their own sharing economy, service-oriented business. Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit are all “gig” (or “sharing”) economy leaders.
Jordan Medina, community outreach and engagement lead for Uber, and Stefan Grant, co-founder of Noirbnb, urged the audience to take action and find a role in this new economic model and new type of labor force. With feedback from the audience, they discussed the pros and cons of the gig model, and also how entrepreneurs can launch their own sharing economy, service-oriented businesses.
Here are some ideas for you to take part in your own sharing economy:
- Rent out your home based on a unique quality or skill you possess. Are you a popular journalist or the neighborhood fix-it guy? You can offer classes, workshops, and rent your home for people to stay while on vacation.
- Is your car sitting in the driveway while you work all week? Rent it out on Turo.
- Do you have several laptops that you no longer use? Rent those out to students, elderly, or low-income families to use at your place for a fee.
There are myriad ideas anyone can start, even from their own kitchen. You can share your kitchen space with others who want to learn how to cook, or experienced cooks who need a larger kitchen to fix their unique dishes.
Everyone can build their own niche in the sharing economy. Don’t wait until it’s over. It’s early enough to get in now, build a foundation, and get paid.