Peer to peer (P2P)business models are growing. 10 years ago the greatest use of P2P was likely in sharing music which was heavily frowned upon as it deprived the producers of revenue. In spite of its rather dark genesis the business model with the assistance of technological advances is finding new ground to break and there are some exciting ideas on the horizon just waiting to be tackled.
Peer to peer lending is quite interesting and it has found popularity in many markets as it largely offers two advantages over regular bank-based lending. Firstly it pays the lender higher interest than banks normally do. Secondly, it provides borrowers access to finance with greater convenience than bank lending. This is a hallmark of P2P businesses in that they bring convenience to both sides of the market, not just one.
We surely all know Airbnb by now. The peer to peer accommodation site (and app) that allows travellers to find people who have rooms or houses available for rental. Airbnb found its market with tourists who appreciated the fees compared to what the traditional providers were offering. It has done so well the Zimbabwean government announced the intention to find ways to tax those using the service. A few initiatives in Zimbabwe have sought to do the same with student accommodation and other accommodation needs.
Slightly controversial but still a great use of the P2P business model. Couriers tend to cost an arm and a leg to carry your articles. People have been using the services of family, friends, acquaintances and relative strangers to transport articles for them. In some territories, P2P couriers have come up which match travellers with people who have parcels to send paying a fee to the traveller. While many are cautious about the idea especially across borders a local version of the idea could work very well.
Peer 2 Peer can also be applied to shopping in some pretty interesting ways. Looking at something like motor spares which are quite expensive in Zimbabwe but found at better prices in a place like South Africa. A platform where someone seeking parts can make it known what they are looking for and someone in South Africa can purchase the item and arrange transport for it where these costs come up to less than the price one would pay in Zimbabwe. Of course, the buyer gets a fee, perhaps a fixed amount or percentage. There are so many things it could be applied to including electronics, groceries and more.
The best example of P2P education I can think of immediately is SkillShare, the P2P education site allows users to upload videos which teach skills or ideas they possess. Users pay for access to these videos and uploaders are paid for this. P2P education has made great strides but still has many opportunities. Makeup tutorials are incredibly popular on a platform with video and content like that makes for a good education in P2P settings. There are skills which are held exclusively locally that can be taught in this manner such as playing the mbira.
With the improvement in technology and opening up of spaces, many more P2P business opportunities will open up in P2P.