Profit-making idea: Talent-on-demand platforms

Movement restrictions related to Covid-19 has once again put the future of work in the spotlight. Platforms that take Africa’s gig economy online and match opportunities with skills, could be a lucrative business for entrepreneurs.

Remote service delivery is at the heart of the industries of the future, says Hassan Bashir, Kenyan serial entrepreneur and co-founder of the social media influencer marketing platform Wowzi. Before Bashir and his co-founders, Mike Otieno and Brian Mogeni, started Wowzi, they first brainstormed various ideas in the digital economy. “We were particularly looking at opportunities that would be the in-thing five years down the line,” he says.

Mercy Corps’ Youth Impact Labs estimates that the size of Kenya’s online gig economy was already $109 million in 2019, employing more than 36,000 workers.

Bashir believes there is room for growth throughout the continent: “If you are in Mogadishu and you need an accountant to close your books: this is something that can be done remotely. With travel being a problem and congregating together even more so, this definitely provides opportunities.”

There are already some platforms connecting freelancers with work opportunities, such as Kuhustle in Kenya.

“Talent-on-demand is definitely an industry I am looking at,” Bashir says. “Delivering services remotely is becoming more and more important.

“Africa is not short of talent. What is required is simplifying how we join the talent with the opportunities,” he adds.