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The Hive and Flow Foundation provide alternative income stream option for thousands

As Jamaicans seek additional options to earn an income, thousands have registered on the freelancing site, The Hive.  The Hive is the Caribbean’s first freelancer jobs marketplace where freelancers, entrepreneurs and agencies are paired with employers globally.

The platform was launched last year by Ingenuity Technologies in partnership with the Flow Foundation and has already grown beyond expectations creating a community of over 10,000 across the Caribbean, India and the United States of America.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on work and business, the Hive enables the progress of local professionals and micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) enterprises through digital inclusion through its partnership with the Flow Foundation.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many persons lost their full-time jobs, MSMEs have seen a reduction in work opportunities and freelancers are seeking new job opportunities as traditional sources may have dried up. We’re excited to help through our partnership with The Hive,” stated Stephen Price, Chairman of the Flow Foundation.

He continued, “We’re pleased that the website’s technology-driven approach has created faster and easier ways for local freelancers, MSMEs and out-of-work professionals to get short-term jobs and bolster their income.”

The move was applauded by local freelancers who are endorsing The Hive for providing a space for them to advertise their services, choose projects when approached by businesses or opt to apply to support advertised projects. Currently, some of the best and brightest freelancers from across the world are on the platform.

“The Hive Freelancing has been excellent for finding and bidding on projects, whatever the field or role so that I can increase my earning potential. It’s user-friendly and facilitates a space for me to maintain communication with the “employer” for the duration of the project. Using the website, I have already found two projects and I am working on my third,” shared Gairey Powell, Managing Director, Landscaper.com.

The Hive is the brainchild of Melarka Williams, CEO & Founder of Ingenuity Technologies – a global, digital transformation and software engineering firm, with its regional headquarters in Kingston, that provides MSMEs with technology solutions and tools needed for them to increase their operational efficiency and productivity.

Williams shared that his motivation stemmed from wanting to provide a platform where people could use their existing skillsets – for example, Technology, Engineering, Administration to name a few – as a source of alternative income so that they could better provide for themselves and their families.  Additionally, he wanted to contribute to the further diversification of the economy into other low-growth sectors which could assist in accelerating the growth of the Caribbean economy.

“The Hive will become the most effective path to digital skills development within the Caribbean and an ecosystem for organisations, agencies, academic institutions and businesses to partner with us as we jointly work to bridge the skills divide within Jamaica and the wider Caribbean,” said Williams.

This is certainly true for Orlando Brown who heard about The Hive on Twitter and thought it would be a good source of extra income especially in the pandemic.  He shared that he has gained significant expertise in general construction through the website stating, “The Hive has helped me to generate another stream of income.  I’m currently using the site to get construction, electrical and mechanical jobs and, on a smaller scale, project management jobs.”  Brown also advised that he found The Hive’s registration process simple and straightforward.

Additionally, the site is providing opportunities globally.  Some of the largest and most innovative companies in the Caribbean and North America are utilizing the platform to hire for short-term and permanent opportunities. The site’s highest demand is for tech experts ranging from IT Business Analysts to Technology Project Leads. To support users in making the best business match, the website incorporates user-led performance ratings and statistics on freelancers, agents and employers to provide a track record of work.

The Flow Foundation continues to enable progress through its digital inclusion programme which includes The Hive; an Entrepreneurship Programme, focused on supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs); Training for Professionals Programme in partnership with One on One Educational Services Ltd and its Skills for the Future Programme in partnership with the Mona School of Business Management.  The organisation has also led a Tablet Distribution Partnership Initiative which has which has impacted some 300 students island-wide.

Registration on https://www.thehivefreelancing.co/ is free for freelancers and agencies.

Source: https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/The_Hive_and_Flow_Foundation_provide_alternative_income_stream_option_for_thousands?profile=1056

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