Provide the technology that allows Bendigo to run peer to peer sharing enterprises
Stimulate local spending, investment, work, entrepreneurship and connections
Reinvest locally to build an economy based on shared health, wellbeing and prosperity
The Beehive Building on Pall Mall housed Bendigo’s Mining Exchange, purpose built to service Bendigo’s new gold rush economy. This bHive is being designed to service the next economic boom for Bendigo: our sharing economy.
The first platform cooperative in Australia
The world has created the online technology needed to create the 21st century version of the local market: the platform cooperative. A platform cooperative is a digital platform — a website or mobile app that is designed to provide a service or sell a product — that is collectively owned and governed by the people who depend on and participate in it.
You may be familiar with international platform cooperatives like Fairmondo, Stocksy, Modo, Enspiral. bHive will be the first Australian platform cooperative.
Cooperatives – nothing new for Bendigo!
Bendigo was home to many cooperatives in the 1800s. We had brewing cooperatives, butter cooperatives and cheese cooperatives. The Bendigo Fruit Growers Cooperative Society began in 1889. The Bendigo Bank evolved from a building society, with locals seeking ways to help miners buy their own homes.
Preventing sharing economy exploitation
The most famous operators in the sharing economy are Uber and Airbnb. These user-friendly platforms have revolutionised taxis and hotels by providing cost effective, convenient and trustworthy services. But they also allow people to shirk taxes and regulations. And the bulk of the value they generate goes to investors and management who live far away from the world wide communities in which they operate.
The platform cooperative overcomes the problems of these well know enterprises, because the people who use the platform, own it too. Imagine that Uber was owned and run by its drivers, or that Airbnb was owned and run by its hosts. Platform cooperatives allow local owner operators to protect the social and environmental