When the Scottish Government established the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy in April 2017, we challenged the Panel to identify how Scotland could capture the benefits of the collaborative economy and overcome regulatory, economic and social challenges. I very much welcome – and am grateful for – what the Panel has achieved in a short space of time. The Panel’s report, published in January 2018, has already influenced the Scottish Government’s vision for the collaborative economy and I am excited about the opportunities it holds for each and every one of us.
The collaborative economy brings together individuals and communities in new and innovative ways. As the Panel highlights, the scale of opportunity for Scotland is substantial, particularly given some of the geographic challenges that we face and the potential benefits it can bring for tourism and transport outside urban areas.
"It is my ambition that the collaborative economy successfully contributes to the Scottish Government’s overarching purpose to create a fairer, more equal Scotland. A socially responsible collaborative economy that builds upon and embeds our Fair Work values is central to achieving this and will deliver the greatest benefits to all in Scotland. Consumers will have the confidence to spend in the knowledge that they are protected; workers will be empowered with the right skills and knowledge; and businesses will be supported to innovate and compete in an ever evolving marketplace."
To help realise this vision, I am pleased to announce the launch of ShareLab Scotland. This fund will help new collaborative platforms to deliver social and economic value for the people of Scotland, while actively shaping our collaborative economy. In particular, we welcome proposals that contribute to Scotland’s renewable energy and sustainable transport ambitions, especially where they provide consumers with greater choice, a sense of empowerment and help those in vulnerable situations.
I wish to thank all the members of the Panel for their commitment and engagement in this work shown by all members of the Panel, especially Helen Goulden, whose steadying hand ensured that the Panel delivered its stretching remit. I also appreciate the constructive engagement from a diverse range of organisations and individuals on what is and remains a very complex area. As the Scottish Government takes forward the Panel’s recommendations, I call on all stakeholders to continue to work together.
I look forward to working with all of you to shape and deliver the collaborative economy that Scotland wants.
JAMIE HEPBURN MSP
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills