Binding the community through cash-free trade

(Pitched: 15/04/2018)
Jaspr brings communities together by helping them trade their skills and unneeded valuables, cash-free, using our mobile apps and website. Jaspr isn't just about saving money: it's a help-and-be-helped swapping community focussed on inclusion, sustainability, and inter reliance. SDG House will become host to swap events and serve as a "Safe Swap Zone" for Amsterdam Oost.

One Page Summary

Which need/challenge are you addressing with your solution?

Despite hundreds of ways to buy and sell goods and services online, no large-scale platform has surfaced for cash-free swap. This is especially surprising when you consider the many ways cash-free trade can be beneficial: it saves people money, helps bring communities together, is good for the environment, and opens access to experiences money cannot buy.


Jaspr is the first platform to make the exchange of goods and services fast, easy, fun, and lucrative. Of particular interest to SDG House is the wonderful effect Jaspr has on communities. Trades are done in a help-and-be-helped environment between good-natured, curious people with a care for sustainability who are actively trying to engage their community.


Our solution will help SDG House connect in person with the Amsterdam Oost community, most notably with new arrivals with an open mind for sustainability and community. It will give SDG House a chance to not only make meaningful connections with members of the Amsterdam Oost community, but to make lasting, meaningful relationship with people interested in sustainable development.


We propose that SDG House become the focal point for in-person swapping arranged through the Jaspr platform. Members of the Jaspr Amsterdam Oost community will be invited to swap their goods and services in person at SDG House, as well as attend regular swap events and even large-scale sustainability & circular economy events.


SDG House will benefit from a steady flow of open-minded, sustainability-focussed individuals from the neighbourhood with whom SDG House can share their mission and information about ongoing projects. Jaspr users are typically new to town, good natured and curious, 25-40 years old, and supporters of the circular economy - a perfect demographic for this Social Challenge.

How your solution aims to satisfy that need in practical terms?
Jaspr is a highly-scalable, proven approach for making trade easy and profitable. We have developed beautiful mobile apps and a website, taking a new member of the community from uninitiated to trading in less than a minute. Jaspr quickly learns what a person has and wants, and then matches them with nearby trading partners, informing them via push notification and email when a new match is found. Jaspr has been used to arrange nearly 5,000 trades this past year.

Matched users will be informed that SDG House is offering a comfortable, inclusive space to allow the swappers to meet in a safe, welcoming environment where they can easily do their swap and to get information about the activities of the SDG House community. They will also be regularly informed via our newsletter and social media channels of the regular swap meets (often themed: clothes swaps, book swaps, skill exchanges, etc.).


We will also organise two larger-scale events where SDG house can invite the Amsterdam Oost Jaspr community to hear directly from SDG House community members and other partners from the sustainability space through seminars, panel discussions etc.


Nothing can replace meaningful in-person interaction as the basis for long-lasting community. The challenge is to provide a valuable reason for a first contact, and to offer that reason to the right audience. The solution offered here gives a chance for newcomers to Amsterdam Oost with an interest in the circular economy to improve their lives while being introduced to SDG House. 

What are the implications of implementing your solution? Which actors need to be involved? Are there any competitors? If yes, why are you different?
Bringing the platform to a new geography, in this case East Amsterdam, is very easy from a technological point of view. In fact, we already have traders located there today. The challenge is to onboard enough people to make the marketplace liquid, that is, having enough items on offer to be an attractive marketplace to new joiners. This process has already been a success in Amsterdam as a whole.


Jaspr’s competition comes from larger players such as Marktplaats, where trade is done to some extent. However, because they use the same technology and approach as they do for cash listings, finding someone who offers what you want and wants what you have is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Jaspr is the first to tackle this problem (the solution we offer is discussed below).


The solution has been already tested and deployed in another context (geographical or sectorial)? If so, what are the strengths and weaknesses you identify that could help you in scaling it into a new context?
We have had extensive experience from organising exactly these types of meetups in Berlin. We have learned how to promote the events and to provide an attractive agenda.
The challenge in Amsterdam will come from communicating the idea of a ‘safe swap’ location to a new audience, as well as doing event promotion to people from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds.