New academically-backed ‘trustmark’ for sharing economy

Trade body Sharing Economy UK and Oxford University's Said Business School team up to develop mark for responsible sharing economy businesses.

The move is part of the two organisations’ wider drive to promote responsible best practices for global sharing economy businesses – thus protecting both workers and users while simultaneously building customer trust.

Trade body SEUK launched in March 2015 and its 26 founding members include Airbnb, Love Home Swap, Zipcar and It also has political support, with minister of state for small business, industry and enterprise Anna Soubry recently expressing her admiration.

Said Business School department The Skoll Centre is the main driver behind Oxford University’s involvement in the launch. It was established in 2003 with the support of former eBay president Jeff Skoll and runs programmes promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship.

>See also: How to build trust in the sharing economy

One of the centre’s directors Pamela Hartigan called it fitting that the school “should be embarking on this pioneering effort” given its connection with eBay.

“As we know, eBay turned thousands of people into microentrepreneurs and lay the groundwork for the hundreds of shared economy platforms that are transforming the ways ordinary people can engage with one another,” she said.

SEUK chairman and Love Home Swap founder Debbie Wasskow added that the sharing economy is “rapidly becoming one of the most exciting spaces in the technology industry”.

“Sharing businesses, by their very nature, are innovative models, which are shaking up traditional industries,” she continued.

“This is why a robust, comprehensive, industry-wide trustmark is needed, to ensure absolute protection for both consumers and workers, and ultimately to propel the sharing economy forward into an exciting future.”

Further reading: Ensuring the future of the UK’s sharing economy

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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