• Be Brasil
  • Innovation and technology

fev 20, 2017
Innovation and technology

Brazil leads Latin America's sharing economy

Across Latin America, more sharing economy startups were founded in Brazil than any other in the region. A collaborative economy, or "sharing" economy, connects people through the Internet or apps to facilitate the exchange of goods or services, fueling entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability.

Of all the sharing economy initiatives across the region, 32 were founded in Brazil, more than double that of Argentina and Mexico, who tied for second place with 13 percent each. Peru recorded 11 percent of the total sharing economy startups. 

Despite the current economic recession, Brazil remains the largest economy in Latin America and is naturally ahead of the regional game for the sharing economy market. Many Brazilians are turning to the sharing economy to create their own businesses or earn extra money on the side. Not only is Brazil a principal market for international startups like the rideshare app Uber and the apartment-share app AirBnb, but Brazilians themselves have taken these sharing economy concepts and launched many of their own initiatives to share everything from pet care and parking spots, to language and cooking classes.

The numbers come from the report "Collaborative Economy in Latin America,” which was presented at the Casa América of Madrid. The report is the product of a collaboration between the IE Business School, the Interamerican Development Bank (BID) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity.

The sharing economy is a relatively new idea and its market is still quite young. The one in Latin America is no exception, as the majority of the 107 participants featured in the study were created within just the last five years. The sectors with the most sharing economy initiatives were in company services (26 percent), transportation (24 percent), and renting a physical space (19 percent). The top three objectives outlined by sharing economy entrepreneurs were "creating new forms of economy" (69 percent), "improving the quality of life" (63 percent), and "reviving the local economy" (50 percent).

Almost two-thirds of all sharing economy initiatives in Latin America reported less than 10 employees, while only 7 percent of companies employed over 101 people. 79 percent of those surveyed agreed that the market will grow rapidly, while 58 agreed that international initiatives would contribute to this growth. 

Interestingly enough, technology is the least of these entrepreneurs' worries. Rather, they reported that their primary challenges were related to the customers' unfamiliarity with the concept of a sharing economy, followed by access to startup funds and mistrust on the part of users. Luckily, these challenges are characteristic of a new economic phenomenon. Customers will naturally become more familiar and trusting of sharing economy initiatives as their use gradually becomes a reality of everyday life and consumption.