At the present time, the concept of a collaborative economy has not yet been the subject of a definitive and internationally recognised definition. Its definition tends to evolve in line with the evolution of the collaborative economy itself, from the voluntary and shared provision of resources, to a new model of consumption between citizens, overseen by a company which matches buyers and sellers.
According to the French page of Wikipedia, "The collaborative economy is a human activity that aims to produce common value and is based on new forms of work organisation. It is based on a more horizontal rather than vertical organisation, the pooling of goods, spaces and tools (use rather than ownership), the organisation of citizens into "networks" or communities and, generally, intermediation via internet platforms (with the exception of models such as reciprocal knowledge networks)".
The collaborative economy creates new opportunities for both consumers and entrepreneurs. Consumers can benefit from the collaborative economy in the form of new services, a more extensive offering, and more affordable prices. This consumption preference may or may not be driven by ethical or environmental considerations.
The collaborative economy can promote more extensive sharing of assets and better use of resources, which can contribute to sustainable development.