One-line solution summary:
A community and business online freelancing platform
Pitch your solution.
Namfreelancer is an online freelance marketplace with some exciting features and functionality that enable individuals and institutions to work remotely. It has been designed and developed, after thorough research, to cater the requirements for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Namfreelancer was developed after many individuals were ordered to stay home in an attempt to enact social-distancing, which is believed to be the most effective measure to subside the spread of COVID. Hence, many corporations, institutions and businesses have put in place work-from-home policies. Thus, an opportunity for remote freelancing and enterprise in Namibia was identified. This led to the development of Namfreelancer.
There are many countries, primarily in Africa, that have many challenges with digital work and engagement platforms. Thus many individuals in those countries are not able to partake in economic activity once there are restrictions. However, Namfreelancer offers a solution, as it is developed to enable remote working and enterprise.
What specific problem are you solving?
In Namibia youth unemployment is recorded to be above the 40% mark. Hence, many young individuals get by, economically, by doing odd jobs and having small businesses. However, as a result of the COVID pandemic, there were several restrictions, one of which was that non-essential businesses should close. That restriction, plus many others, made it challenging and at times impossible for individuals entrepreneurs to conduct business, hence they faced extensive economic challenges.
As a case, Namibia is highly dependent on the informal sector, as it caters for the needs of over 50% of the population. However, within the informal sector there are limited client-business engagement platforms, particularly those that are digital. Hence, when COVID restrictions came into effect, many of these businesses were not able to engage clients. In most cases, many businesses had to lay off employees, as they were not able to maintain their wage bills given the limited business engagement.
What is your solution?
Namfreelancer is a community oriented freelancing platform that allows clients to post tasks, thereafter entrepreneurs and freelancers bid, through proposals, the opportunity to carry out the client's task for a fee.
Namfreelancer allows clients, entrepreneurs and freelancers to register and create profiles. Clients place tasks on the Namfreelance marketplace, then entrepreneurs and freelancers submit their proposals towards the completion of that task for clients to review. Once a client has accepted a proposal, they make a payment for the completion of that task. The payment is kept in the Namfreelancer account and at the same time the payment is also reflected on the account of the entrepreneur or freelancer that was selected to carry out the task by the client. Once the task is completed and approved by the client, the system will automatically release the payment from the Namfreelancer account to the account of the entrepreneur or freelancer who carried out the task.
The system is developed as a web platform, using some of the latest web development technologies. It is hosted on multiple servers, thus ensuring 99% runtime.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Clients: These are individuals or institutions that need particular services or tasks carried out for them. Their needs and wants vary, for instance, in particular cases they require a document to be edited for them, at other times they require graphic design services.
Entrepreneurs: These are individuals with businesses that are able to provide services that clients require.
Freelancers: These are individuals who have no particular business, yet they have certain skills to carry out certain tasks.
We have extensively engaged all three of the above to understand their needs and wants. We also constantly receive feedback from clients, so that we improve on the service that they receive. We engage the entrepreneur and the freelancer to get an understanding on how to serve them better. We do this through regular check up emails and calls, and through the insight received we have been able to enhance our system. In addition, clients are able to rate the service that they have received on the platform, and from those ratings we are able to enhance the service that is rendered through Namfreelancer.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Enable small and new businesses, especially in untapped communities, to prosper and create good jobs through access to capital, networks, and technology
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.
Namfreelancer is a social entrepreneurial initiative, in that it allows entrepreneurs and freelancers to sell and expose their skills and services online. On the other hand Namfreelancer allows clients to have a wide selection of entrepreneurs and freelancers, particularly local, who can carry out their task reliably.
Overall, Namfreelancer seeks to empower entrepreneurs and freelancers, so that they can continue conducting business in difficult times such as during the COVID pandemic. Hence, Namfreelancer is an enabler for the continuation of business, especially for entrepreneurs and freelancers that are not fortunate to have a particular online presence.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Windhoek, Namibia
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?