Matchmaking In The Digital Age

Globally, 75 million youth are unemployed and another 536 million underemployed, hindered by a lack of formal full-time jobs and a mismatch between skills and employer needs. 

Thoughtfully designed digital sharing connects youth in emerging markets with employers that need immediate short-term work. Employers find freelancers through an online platform that aligns availability, pay, and skills with the task needed. The platform matches and verifies the identity of both parties, and facilitates the digital transfer of payments, IP, and confidentiality agreements as necessary. The freelancer provides high-quality work, and the employer pays, provides feedback, and rates their experience.

In an ideal scenario, over time, the young freelancer builds skills, a portfolio of work, and a credible personal brand. Experienced freelancers on Upwork based in India and the Philippines earn hourly rates comparable to those in the United States and Western Europe.

These platforms already exist. Sites such as Babajob (India) mJobs (Ethiopia), GetNinjas (Brazil) Samasource and MobileWorks are up and running, connecting a small percentage of youth in developing markets with employers that need immediate short-term work. Can these be scaled nationally and internationally to help ease the global youth unemployment crisis? 

Many of these on-the-spot work opportunities are low-earning on a per-job basis, and competition between job seekers often drives down rates. However, in an economy like South Africa’s where 56% of young people are looking for work, these new platforms create another, very welcome, option for employment.

Very helpful. What comes in day-to-day is now enough.
— Zulkarnain, 43-year-old father of three, when asked how driving with Indonesian ride-share service Go-Jek affected his income.
Digital Sharing Model: Youth Employment in Developing Countries