13 Profitable Sharing Economy Business Ideas

Updated: July 24th, 2023

Would you like to start your own sharing economy business or earn money on the side, but still need to find the right business idea?

There will be countless exciting business ideas again in 2021. While it sounds exciting to start your own business, it's important that you run with the right idea.

Your goal should be to build a business in a niche that is not only profitable but can also ensure your long-term success.

Hopefully, all of the sharing economy business ideas listed here will give you inspiration and a head start for the 2021 year.

Here they are:

1. Start an office equipment rental

Purchasing office furniture, PABX pr IP telephones, photocopy machines, laptops, and conference room equipment will break the bank, especially for new startups. Renting office equipment has become more cost-effective for startups and businesses expanding to new locations.

Therefore, if you are planning to start a rental business but are unsure, consider office equipment rental. Business projects, conventions, Trade shows, business conferences, and corporate events require rental office equipment.

How much you can make: $15,000/month

How long does it take to build: 1095 days (?)

I Launched A $180K/Year Niche Coworking Space [Atlanta]

Founder Alan Crowe launched Room2work, a niche coworking space for small businesses in 2020, generating $14K a month with plans to reach $100K in gross profit, by combining the coworking model with the self-storage model to offer a flexible office space optimized for local SEO, virtual offices, and meeting rooms designed for virtual teams.

Alan started Room2work about 4 years ago
Alan grew the business to $15K/month
It cost Alan $200000 to start the business
Read by 3,019 founders

2. Start a jewelry rental business

3. Start a car rental business

Starting a car rental business can be a profitable venture for those interested in the auto industry.

Retail and corporate are the main segments within the car rental industry. Retail car rentals focus on individuals who rent cars for shorter periods, while corporate car rental targets companies that want to transport clients or employees.

If you are starting a car rental business , target airports, hotels, railway stations, commercial offices, and other high-traffic areas.

Market your business, hire employees who will manage the operations and keep records, and purchase business insurance for both cars and employees.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $583,333/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How We Started A Camper Van Rental Business and Quit Our Full Time Jobs

ROAMERICA, a campervan rental company founded by Taylor Hood and Gretchen Bayless who quit their full-time jobs to focus on their business and have expanded their fleet quickly to meet the demand of adventure-seeking customers, with most of their web traffic coming from organic Google searches and a focus on social media and brand awareness.

Gretchen started ROAMERICA about 8 years ago
Gretchen grew the business to $10K/month
It cost Gretchen $25000 to start the business
Read by 35,876 founders

4. Start an apartment rental business

An apartment is a private residence divided into several separate dwellings. If you are interested in starting an accommodation and housing-related business, apartment rental can be a good fit. Your target customers can be business executives, dignitaries, travelers, etc.

To start your business, look for a strategic location and build or buy a ready property. When purchasing an apartment, you may need to renovate the property to be suitable for rental.

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

5. Start a vacation rentals business

Vacation rentals host travelers for a short period. Often located in top vacation destinations, vacation rentals feature spacious rooms and a cozy lifestyle and are cheaper than booking a hotel.

Building or buying a vacation rental is a smart way of creating a passive income without much involvement in the business.

To make money through the vacation rental business, ensure a strategic location, often nearby attractions. Choose an area that is easily accessible and desirable all year round and create a beautiful space for your guests.

Stand out by optimizing the vacation rental listing online and featuring all available amenities.

How much you can make: $12,500 — $295,000/month

How long does it take to build: 280 days (?)

How We Started A $12K/Month Beachside Vacation Rental Business

This case study explores how a couple turned their childhood homes into vacation rentals, welcoming around 3k guests annually and generating an average revenue of $50k per year and property by focusing on a strong online presence and organic traffic.

Julio started Cardiff Vacations almost 13 years ago
Julio grew the business to $12.5K/month
It cost Julio $30000 to start the business
Read by 7,370 founders

6. Start a camp space sharing business

7. Start an event venue sharing business

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

8. Start a co-working space rental business

The co-working spaces are becoming essential in the post-pandemic world. Experts estimate five million people will occupy coworking spaces in the next few years. The projections are based not only on the growth the coworking industry has experienced over the past few years but also on the sharp increase in the number of startups coming up each year.

Therefore, creating your coworking space business will become a lucrative opportunity. To create a coworking space, do proper market research to ensure you have the demand for a co-work space in your target area.

Then, focus on finding an ideal location to attract the maximum number of customers.

How much you can make: $4,000 — $300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

I Created An Airbnb For Startups In NYC & Make $3.6M/Year

The founder of The Farm Soho, one of the earliest New York City co-working spaces, shares how he built his affordable workspace model for solopreneurs and startups, as well as discussing his tips for attracting and retaining customers while navigating the challenges of running a business.

Lucas started The Farm Soho over 9 years ago
Lucas grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 3,608 founders

9. Start a car sharing service

Globally, people are looking for the most cost-effective way to move about. The increasing cost of car ownership has forced people to car sharing services.

Car sharing is where vehicle owners offer their vehicles for others to rent for a short period. The arrangement saves gasoline, parking fees, maintenance costs, taxes, and other expenses. Also, car sharing is a practical alternative for those on a budget who do not necessarily need full-time access to a vehicle.

According to experts, the global car-sharing market has exceeded 2 billion and will keep growing at a CAGR of over 20% for the next decade. In that regard, starting a car-sharing service presents a lucrative business opportunity.

With enough capital, you can purchase multiple vehicles and launch your car-sharing service.

How much you can make: $2,000/month

They want to rent out your luxurious car using software, hit first $24k in ARR

Subskryb is a luxury vehicle subscription service founded by Giovanni Smith, Kendell Johnson, and Preston Martelly that allows car owners to rent their high-end cars and renters to book them daily, weekly, or monthly, building a VAAS model with car owners and renters.

Giovanni started Subskryb over 3 years ago
Giovanni grew the business to $2K/month
Read by 596 founders

10. Start a crowdfunding platform

Raising money for your project can be difficult. Crowdfunding is one way to get funding through a large number of smaller investments. If you have some expertise in a particular area that may be useful to other people, there's no better time to take action. The crowdfunding revolution is happening right at your fingertips.

Crowdfunding has exploded over the past year, and you need to be a part of it. The Worldwide crowdfunding market share is expected to increase by $240B from 2021 to 2026. Crowdfunding is one of the quickest ways to get funding and build your brand.

How much you can make: $5,000 — $400,000/month

How long does it take to build: 272 days (?)

How We Built And Launched A $100M Equity Crowdfunding Platform

StartEngine has helped over 265 companies raise capital from a community of 190,000 users on their equity crowdfunding platform, and has raised almost $100M to date, offering equity, debt, convertible note, and other types of securities to investors.

Howard started Kosmos Innovation Centre about 11 years ago
Howard grew the business to $400K/month
Read by 8,089 founders

11. Start a storage rental business

Are you planning to start a passive income business? Storage unit business is an excellent choice for passive income.

Storage spaces offer a solution for people and businesses with too many things but lack enough space to store the items. Besides, the demand for storage space has increased and is expected to reach over $64 billion in the next few years.

Therefore, if you have some idle land, you can construct storage spaces for rental, ideal for industrial, commercial, and residential clients. If starting a storage business, remember location is a critical factor, and do market research to find out the market rates.

12. Start a sporting goods rental

With the latest outdoor activities and wellness trends, sportswear rental could be the next big business opportunity.

For the people who only participate in sports activities infrequently, renting sporting goods is the best option. Successful sporting goods rental businesses can profit from this growing trend.

If you are starting a sporting goods rental business, research the market and find out who potential customers shall be. Understand their requirements before investing in sporting goods.

How much you can make: $300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

We Offer Premium Services For E-Sports Arenas Worldwide [$3.6M/Year]

Esports management software company ggCircuit has doubled its revenue every year since inception and amassed $4 million in revenue in the past year alone, while offering services to over 700 customers globally and projecting double that in revenue over the next 12 months.

Zack started ggCircuit over 9 years ago
Zack grew the business to $300K/month
It cost Zack $50000 to start the business
Read by 2,756 founders

13. Start a ridesharing company

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.