About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: July 2010
Based: London
Website: www.streetbank.com
Twitter: @street_bank
Category: Community Action

Streetbank is a neighbourhood sharing website which provides neighbours with a platform to swap and lend items they own but don't need to use every day.

Sam Stephens set up Streetbank in 2010 in West London as a way of getting his neighbours to share items such as a step ladders, power drills and hedge cutters; things that sit idle in people’s homes and gardens for the majority of the year. His vision was to help people to save money, cut down on waste and reduce their carbon footprints.

Streetbank also encourages neighbours to share their advice and skills, teaching languages, cooking and DIY. In October 2013, skills and items worth more than £1 million had been listed on the site since its launch.

When a person joins Streetbank they get access to the website and receive a weekly newsletter showing new member offers, wants and local announcements.

At present Streetbank has almost 60,000 members worldwide, and more than half of them have signed up through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Since setting up the company, Sam has quit his job and is running Streetbank full-time without a salary. The site was named as one of the ‘Top 50 websites you cannot live without’ by The Times. Sam hopes to reach a quarter of a million members by the end of 2016.