The covid-19 pandemic is having unprecedented effects across the world. As well as being a health emergency, we are seeing record levels of unemployment, with even highly skilled people struggling to maintain an income.
It is a challenging time, but also a time for opportunity - an opportunity to do things differently. When we look to the past, we see examples of successful businesses born out of innovation in testing times. Take Uber, WhatsApp & DropBox - just a few examples of businesses formed during a recession.
Skills, experience and talent are sat fallow in people made unemployed by Covid-19 – these could (and many would say should) be leveraged to boost the global economy, and thus minimise the negative impacts of the impending economic crisis.
We are a people centric business with a vision to help these person take a new path, a path to become entrepreneurs.
We ask: Why look for employment, when you can create it?
As well as being a health emergency, the downturn of the global economy is expected to result in 195 million jobs being lost, having a devastating long-term impact.
These impacts include:
● An increase in poverty as many people struggle to find an income to cover their essential costs such as food and housing. Oxfam has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could push half a billion people into poverty globally.
● An increase in poor health & mortality with evidence showing that recessions have a large and persistent negative effect on health and mortality. A study has estimated that a 1% fall in employment leads to a 2% increase in the prevalence of chronic illness.
● An increase in mental health conditions. The Association for Psychological Science study found that those who experienced financial, housing or job-related hardship during the Great Recession were more likely to have depression, anxiety or substance abuse as many as three years after the recession.
But an international survey showed 46% of respondents had an ambition to found their own businesses, and a lack of know-how was a major factor in preventing many people from taking the leap.
However there isn’t an established platform to support this ambition. Start-up sites tend to be more targeted toward existing entrepreneurs and often require payment to access the more useful services.
Ownemployed is a platform designed to help people set up new businesses, supporting them to take themselves from unemployment to owning their employment.
Key services include:
● A community for budding founders to find co-founders, mentors and advisors
● Support, advice and a wealth of free resources to help users get started and plan their projects - courses, business plan templates etc.
● Ongoing communication – allow users to tailor to their interests and needs, including notifications when a suitable person or opportunity joins meeting their criteria.
The impact we are striving for is to reduce unemployment through inspiring and enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to develop creative ideas and successful businesses. If Ownemployed helped 0.5% of the people estimated to become unemployed through the covid-19 pandemic that would be a million new entrepreneurs setting up businesses, creating jobs and driving the economy.
Not only would this help boost the global economy, it could also potentially help mitigate some of the negative impacts of unemployment on people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life.
We are seeking to create a movement to empower those unemployed to become Ownemployed encouraging optimism, hope and pulling together as a community to take on the challenges presented by the covid-19 pandemic.
After the crisis, we envisage the platform evolving into a general easy to use platform supporting the UN sustainability goals, and in particular goal 8 (promoting good jobs & economic growth) and goal 9 (promoting innovation & infrastructure).
Key Benefits for Partners
● Corporates & investors – a business minded initiative allowing you to get close to grass-roots innovation.
● Governments & institutions – empowering your citizens to create jobs, reduce unemployment and drive your economy.
Recently unemployed people due to covid-19 who would consider starting their own business.
47% in Sweden would consider starting their own business
64% of the UK workforce wants to set up a business
195 million jobs across the world are expected to be lost due to the economic crisis brought on by Covid-19
People who has dreamt of starting their own business.
1/3 of the overall population in Sweden dreams of starting their own business
83% of 18 - 24 year olds in the UK dream of self-employment
People with an idea in mind and are looking for likeminded people/teamplayers
Looking for projects as a mentor or advisor
What we’ve Done
We developed the idea, built a beta website, developed a brand, and a social media presence. We have drawn on expertise from mentors (both in the private and public sector) and had positive discussions regarding funding.
Here is a facebook page that we created for unemployed people:
What we’re Doing
This is an open source project, drawing on volunteers from over seven countries, all of whom affected by Covid-19. We are building this platform together so that we may help others!
As a team we are:
● Continuing to build the backend
● Refining the architecture
● Developing the user interface
● Optimising the branding & visual identity
● Building & refining our marketing strategy
● Developing our business & financial plan
● Continuing to build our team
What's next for Ownemployed
The goal is to bring Ownemployed to market as quickly as possible. We want to help those affected by the COVID-19 through offering a people-minded solution.
The key next steps are:
● Adding functionality to the platform, such as template roadmaps, profiles and plans.
● Go to market through a phased roll out starting with the tech industry in Sweden to allow us to test & learn and optimise the user experience, then scale.
● Another big focus will be to execute our marketing plan to reach, inspire & support as many people as possible. We will raise awareness for the platform through a comprehensive social media campaign, and will be offering our platform as a tool to governments, bodies and not-for-profit organisations to share with people alongside existing support services.
Solution & Technical Details
A responsive website, currently hosted in Netlify with full Continuous deployment from an open github repo.
Architecture is currently a client side React app that has a component based model to ease re-usability and extensibility
ant.design/ - our design framework
reactjs.org/ - component framework
reacttraining.com/react-router/ - routing framework to provide a single page web app experience with pages that work with link sharing
Note:After the hackathon, we have heavily built a beta for the website with an improved UX and new functions. The provided websites and links do not show the new version yet.