The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01162

Submission Number:
Christopher Bryan
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
At 23 some friends and I were grunts at a big consulting firm and needed something to do other than Excel and PowerPoint. However, the long hours and travel schedule didn't lend itself well to volunteering at the local high school. However, we were concerned that only 9% of low-income students were earning bachelor's degree. So we decided to create our own volunteer opportunity and provide college scholarships to disadvantaged students. We asked our friends for donations and gave out three $1000 scholarships in 1995 and founded a nonprofit called Education First ( We asked for contributions and people to volunteer their time. Twenty years later, Education First now serves seven US cities across five states and has awarded over $700,000 to students who are often the first in their families to attend college. All this was done with no paid staff. Here is where AirBnB comes in. Education First started getting too big to manage solely with volunteers. So after a job transition our co-founder, Chris Bryan took a significant pay-cut to assist the organization get to the next level. To augment his income, he rents his house on holidays when his family normally visits family. In 6 months, he earned nearly $15,000 with 5 star ratings. AirBnB provided a platform that is enabling Chris to assist more low-income youth earn a college degree, thus setting the example for the younger brothers and sisters to do the same. Now with a dedicated leader, Education First plans to raise $250,000 in 2015, doubling the amount of scholarships. For more information on how AirBnB can help you follow your life's passion (or to sponsor a scholarship), contact Chris at [REDACTED]. For policy makers, AirBnB (and other like-services) provides a way to earn a living and own a business. I pay taxes on all earned income that wouldn't have been possible five years ago. It is a rewarding way to provide for my family while also meeting customer demand in the marketplace. It is the American Dream, really. I also have time to give back. Chris Bryan Co-Founder and Executive Director, EDUCATION FIRST [REDACTED]