The gig economy has been on the rise since 2020 and even more when it experienced a massive surge due to the COVID pandemic. And it shows no signs of slowing down globally: the industry is currently projected to reach $455 billion by 2023, doubling its value in 2018 at a CAGR of 17%. Meanwhile, as gig opportunities grow, so do the platforms connecting workers to remote opportunities.
Earthful Gigs is one platform that is emerging as a well-known marketplace in Africa for freelance designers who want to make a living doing jobs for US multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Audi, Vans and IDEO.
After raising $6 million in seed funding, the startup will accelerate its growth by attracting more designers to its platform.
“We are thinking about how we can tell more multi-dimensional merchants across the continent that we exist so we can help them earn five to seven times what they earn locally. “We are creating more referral programs through our platform to help the entire continent as a whole,” said Ronnie Quasi Coleman, co-founder and CEO of Meaningful Gigs, to gaming-updates.
The company plans to actively market it over the next year to bring on board at least 100 companies out of the current 40 (17 large enterprises) using the platform.
“The flip side is that we are letting more brands like top brands know we exist because every business needs creativity and every business is currently struggling to hire talent; And they don’t even know there’s a whole world of talent out there,” says Coleman.
The seed round was led by Stage 2 Capital with Rethink Education, Authentic Ventures, Reach Capital, Marla Blow, Xavi Band and Michelle Perry.
Stage 2 Capital Partner Mandy Cole said: “With a shortage of highly skilled people and a growing need for diverse mindsets, especially in creativity, marketing and product, meaningful gigs address a huge challenge by bringing talented African designers together with companies. did. Deliver best-in-class design.”
“We are impressed with the focus of the Earthful Gigs team in providing our clients with the best design experience by providing their designers with the best tools; We are excited to support it on its journey to becoming a meeting place for diverse design talents.”
Coleman co-founded the startup with Stephanie Nchemya-Boonton (COO) and Max Farago (CTO) in 2018, driven by the need to create a platform that works for people looking for non-traditional job opportunities. concerts, and new ones entering the labor market in Africa. This is in addition to helping companies find talent outside of the general pool.
“The three of us have been friends for ten years and are part of the same creative community. One day we came across this startling statistic that by 2050, the number of young people entering the labor market in Africa will exceed the number of young people entering the labor market in the rest of the world. And we thought it was crazy. It dawned on us that we could build a business around this. And personally, it resonated with me because I grew up in Ghana,” Coleman said.
Coleman has worked in the creative and technology industries for the past ten years. Before founding Meaningful Gigs, he co-founded another organization with Nchemja-Bantan that helped creative people make a “stable life”. Previously, he also served as Director of Business Development at StayTouch; Hotel management platform.
Nachemya-Bantan, on the other hand, has a long career in education and has previously held several positions, including director of education and education at One World Education. The third co-founder, Farago, is an experienced data engineer who moved from law to technology a few years ago. Before joining Coleman and Nchemja-Bantan to launch Meaningful Gigs, he was VP of Engineering at Deep Root Analytics.
While finding the right employees to work with the right company is a startup’s core business, Earthful Gigs also plans to offer ongoing training to designers who sign up on the platform to ensure they’re looking for work. Stay up to date with the latest knowledge, trends and technologies in a rapidly evolving digital world.
“We have seen that in order to succeed in this ever-changing digital landscape, one job is not enough – you have to be able to learn skills on the job. And so we want to be the number one market for creating creative jobs and remote skills, where we train people in new skills while combining work with education,” says Nachemya-Bantan.
To apply for the platform, designers go through a selection process that includes test designs. Meaningful Gigs has already found clients in “thousands” of these designers in “more than a dozen” African countries.
The startup is harnessing the potential of the growing gig economy, which has disrupted the traditional way of working. The Internet and new technologies have allowed people to earn a living remotely and companies to work with untapped talent.
“We want to become the number one market for remote work in the world. By 2028, we want to create 100,000 jobs. And to do this, we focus on empathizing with customers and understanding exactly what they need. So much [seed round] The money will be spent on creating a better experience for them. We want to make working with African designers 10 times better than with anyone else. We want to invest in building relationships so they don’t want to leave,” Coleman says.