The idea that neighbors can share their resources efficiently is not new, however there are very few examples of successful initiatives to date. Many sharing schemes failed after only a few years. A successful example of such a model is StreetBank, a platform in England that is growing steadily. We took a moment to chat with Sam Stephens, StreetBank’s founder, about the reasons for the site’s growth.
StreetBank is an online platform that allows neighbors to collectively share items they possess individually. After having launched in April 2010, the site growing steadily and is gaining several hundred new members every month.
At the time of writing, StreetBank counts 19,000 members in total, mostly in the UK (80%), and has some small groups of members in other countries as well, especially in Washington State, Sydney and Iran. Its’ evident international appeal shows that the site can be used everywhere and by everybody. Still Sam Stephens, the site’s founder, is mainly focusing on the UK for the time being.
The project was self funded for the first 18 months until support was secured from Nesta, which allowed Sam to devote more resources to the project. The project has also been growing thanks to its passionate users who have been spreading the word about this helpful website. Last year the site got 100,000 unique visitors.