Millennials may have ushered in a new age, pioneering trends such as hot-desking in the workplace and embracing new ways of booking their holiday accommodation, but maybe the true test will come as they start having children. Will they carry on their new sharing approach or just revert to the behaviour of their own parents?
Annalise is a young mother of two boys aged two and four and is keen to draw on the expertise and guidance of other parents. A London-based app called Happity gives her access to her local baby and toddler community, helping her to find free local playgroups, for example. An app called Peanut – tag line: “Meet as Mamas. Connect as Women” – aims to help bring parents together to offer support through the highs, lows and occasional loneliness of pregnancy and early motherhood. Log on to Hoopla, meanwhile, to find kids’ football teams, drama lessons and gymnastics clubs.
“I also use Facebook groups to find second-hand baby clothes and toys,” Annalise adds.
In fact, as millennials move through the key stages of life there is every sign that they are bringing the ideas of the sharing economy with them – all the while aware that the true digital natives of Generation Z are in hot pursuit.
This is part of the reason why Olio’s Clarke believes the new economy is still taking shape. “We’ve barely started this transition, so there are loads of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to get in this space,” she says. After all, if PwC’s forecast is right, the sharing economy is set to grow into a market worth $335 billion.
Meanwhile, even our job-hunting graduate Babbs sees potential for growth.
“I’ve found that most of the apps aren’t specific enough for the kind of visual arts job I’m looking for,” she says.
Then, as a true millennial, she starts seeing this not as a problem but as an opportunity that can be solved by the sharing economy.
“Maybe I’ll head back on Bumble Bizz to find that app maker to help me!” she adds merrily.