40,000 jobs: Airbnb & entrepreneurship in Spain

It’s no longer much of a secret that Airbnb hosts and travelers bring enormous social and economic benefits to cities around the world, and the evidence just keeps coming. Last week, we released a new study detailing the positive economic impacts of Airbnb in Barcelona. Like we have found in city after city around the world, this new study confirmed that Airbnb is an important source of income for many local residents, who use the money they earn to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and pursue their dreams.

This week, Barcelona is hosting the Mobile World Congress, highlighting the importance of technology and entrepreneurship in Barcelona and throughout Spain. Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk attended the events in Barcelona, and as part of the conference he released more details about how Airbnb helps residents start new businesses and promotes entrepreneurship in Spain.

This new report found that 28 percent of Airbnb hosts in Spain are entrepreneurs. Seventy-four percent of these hosts used their Airbnb income to help finance their business. And Airbnb hosts in Spain who have also started businesses have created over 40,000 jobs.

In addition to the extra income, hosting helps entrepreneurs meet new people from around the world and gain exposure to new ideas. Fifty-five percent of entrepreneurs in Spain said Airbnb enriched their social life, 36 percent said hosting helped them meet potential clients, and 25 percent got outside opinions for their project from their guests.

Some of the highlights from the report include:

  • 28 percent of Airbnb hosts in Spain are entrepreneurs. One-third of these hosts live in the Barcelona area.
  • 33 percent of their businesses provide support and services to Spain’s vibrant tourism industry.
  • 74 percent of these hosts used revenue from Airbnb to finance their business, with nearly 20 percent calling the income “vital”.
  • 50 percent of the businesses created are less than 5 years old, and 25 percent of the businesses are less than a year old.
  • The average age of the entrepreneurs is 44.
  • The median number of employees they hire is 3.

Statistics are always nice, but they also tell an amazing, real story of economic innovation and job creation made possible by Airbnb hosting.  On top of the tourism, tax and other economic benefits of bringing more people to more neighborhoods than ever before, the economic freedom and empowerment provided by Airbnb to these entrepreneurs is helping create the next generation of businesses in Spain at a time when these jobs are critically needed.

The results in this report are based on two surveys conducted in February 2014. You can check out the full report in Catalan here and in Spanish here.