Many Africans are beginning to realise that the sense of security in salaried employment is fading away, as more countries struggle with weakening economies and job losses.
According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s unemployment rate has continued to rise in recent years, climbing to 27.1% at the end of 2016.
Creating a platform
Launched earlier this year, Giggar is a marketplace where freelancers and clients converge to remotely complete projects.
“In recent years, we have seen the explosion of the gig economy, where freelancers work remotely for clients and get paid what they are worth. Giggar strives to create an online community where the unemployed can earn an income and essentially be their own bosses. Freelancing offers individuals increased convenience and flexibility, as well as the freedom to be creative,” says Waide.
Freelancers can sign up for free and list their services under one of the eight job categories. Clients who are in need of a freelancer then browse through the categories to find a skilled individual who can complete a project remotely.
Both the client and freelancer can monitor the timing of the project from their respective dashboards to ensure the agreed project timelines are met. A review of each project is also conducted before acceptance and payment.
There are currently close to 500 freelancers registered on the platform from across Africa, including South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.
Lessons learnt and future plans
Waide is also the founder of MyTherapist, a platform that enables users to chat with a licensed mental health practitioner via text in real time from any mobile device or laptop. Therapists can also list their practices for free, have clients book and pay for sessions and consult online.
“MyTherapist is not out to replace the traditional form of counseling but to provide an option for individuals who prefer the convenience and privacy of online therapy,” says Waide. “The most significant business lesson I have learnt is to know when to let go. Not all of your ideas will have a product-market fit. Learn when to count your losses and move on to the next venture.”
What advice does he have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Don’t become complacent when things are because it robs you of the tenacity required to stand firm when things are not so good. Collaborate with others and keep learning. Download resources, read articles online, try your hands on new things and always be ready to take a risk,” he concludes.