Freelancing is fast becoming a lifestyle for workers especially among the millennials and Generation Z. In Europe, Asia, and the Americas, the freelance economy is growing in leaps and bounds. In Africa, it is growing as well, but most freelancers are yet to hop online to milk the limitless opportunities in the global village.
As many workers are looking towards self-employment, online freelancing is an opportunity for the teeming unemployed to meet clients and secure gigs that pay higher than the traditional jobs in their neighborhoods.
In Africa, youths account for 60% of the unemployed. The job market is difficult for graduates and with the COVID-19 pandemic; companies have retrenched workers in order to remain financially solvent.
On the heels of this situation, kreekafrica.com was birthed by Razaq Juwon Lawal, as an online platform where professionals (freelancers/experts) showcase their skills and services. Clients looking for such services can easily hook up with the right professionals for their projects.
In a month of the platform’s existence, about 1,413 freelance professionals and 300 business clients have engaged on site. Projects posted on the site currently stands at 65. Fifteen projects with a total value of $3,485 have been completed on kreekafrica.com. Projects currently running on the platform were valued at an estimated value of $4,920 at the end of October 2020. There has also been a steady growth ratio of female users to male users with figures currently standing at 45.85% for females and 54.15% for males.
As the company rightly notes, there exists an imbalance between the demand and supply of freelance professionals in Africa, but the continent holds a lot of potentials to bridge the gap in demand. Freelance skills on kreekafrica.com are highly diversified, and projects posted on the platform cut across sectors: from graphic design, web design, and software development to content writing, digital media marketing, sales, and architecture.
There is a lack of awareness about the concept of freelancing and the availability of freelancing platforms resulting in slow adoption. Kreek Africa is therefore taking the lead by establishing itself in this space through awareness creation and education to drive adoption. Clients do not trust that freelancers are well-vetted on African freelance marketplaces, and freelancers do not trust clients on African freelance marketplaces. The solution is to establish a relationship that enforces trust with freelancers and clients. Poor email communication culture is a major barrier to freelancer and client engagements. Widening the communications net to reach users on channels they are most active on is the key to providing a solution.
As the younger generation is placing priority on carving out their career paths and work hours, it translates into companies having difficulty in finding candidates who are willing to conform to traditional employment structures and policies. This reflects well on the kreekafrica.com traffic demographics data.
According to Upwork, Generation Z seems to be most interested in freelancing. More than half of all workers from this age group have been working independently. This compares to 40% of millennials, 31% of gen X, and 29% of baby boomers.
Freelancers could represent 80% of the global workforce by 2030. While it is only an estimate, it could easily become a fact in just a decade.
In Africa however, Generation Z and millennials are the most technologically savvy who are mostly available online 24/7 and remain the main target population.
It would be smart move should kreekafrica.com consider the possibility of reaching out to professional associations, and relevant departments in higher institutions in different parts of Africa to alert their members of the limitless possibilities they stand to gain if they come on board. On the other hand, business clients can also be reached in like manner. This would no doubt be a big task. Thankfully, most of these groups have websites and social media handles that can make such contacts easily accessible.