Scelo Makhathini and Eugene de Beer, co-founders of LinkdPro, have found a possible solution to the unemployment crisis in the country by using technology to connect individuals that have taken the leap and are creating their own employment.
LinkdPro is Africa’s first digital marketplace matching top freelance business professionals from top-tier consulting and advisory firms to companies looking for niche expertise project-based work.
It is an on-demand digital platform launched in 2016 which connects freelance business professionals to work opportunities.
The founders said entrepreneurs and consultants, also termed freelancers, in South Africa and globally seem to be the way forward when it comes to solving the country’s worrying unemployment problem.
LinkdPro allows freelance professionals to access project opportunities that fit their skills, interests and build visibility.
It also allows companies to get top freelance business professionals ready to deliver great project work flexibility.
The digital marketplace also alleviates corporates that want to cut their expenses by decreasing their salary burden and also leads to less disputes with employers and employees over unpaid salaries.
LinkdPro is trying to solve the problem in the market wherein businesses are struggling to find top talent to upscale their teams on demand and also where young freelance business professionals are struggling to find project opportunities in one place.
Co-founder Scelo Makhathini said that LinkdPro was inspired by a trend in the market where professionals, particularly young professionals from top professional services firms, are leaving their permanent jobs to pursue work opportunities as freelance professionals.
He said that young professionals are choosing to become freelancers in pursuit of work-life flexibility, working on their own terms and the excitement of running their own businesses.
“However this new emerging workforce of young freelance business professionals is highly fragmented and businesses looking to hire freelance professionals for short-term projects are finding it difficult to source them in a highly fragmented market.
“Young freelance business professionals are struggling to access new project opportunities that fit their skills set and experience,” Makhathini said.
He said that it was formed to solve the above problems and create a solution where young freelance business professionals ranging from management/strategy consultants, commercial lawyers, ex-investment bankers, IT specialists, industry experts and businesses find each other.
LinkdPro employs five young people all under the age of 30 and has connected more than 50 young people to project opportunities by making it possible for these small businesses to attract top professional talent at a fraction of the cost of what professional services firms would have charged.
“LinkdPro is increasingly connecting young business freelancers to the right project-based work opportunities and millions of South Africans could find new jobs more quickly, reducing the duration of unemployment, while thousands who are inactive or employed part time could gain additional hours through its digital platform,” Makhathini said.