ITIDA, Udacity offer free virtual academy to help Egyptian youths gain digital skills, master remote freelance jobs – Egypttoday

CAIRO – 30 May 2020: The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) today unveiled an online training initiative to scale up Egyptian youth’s tech skills through Udacity; the global online learning platform that trains the world’s workforce for the careers of the future.


The online scholarship is free to 100,000 Egyptians in a move to help them master the latest tech fields and brush up on the core skill sets especially those in demand in the job market.

The initiative comes as part of the Egyptian CIT ministry’s ambitious strategy that invests heavily in building the local talent and reinforces the country’s huge and well-educated workforce.


The technology training program aims to equip the youth with the necessary tools and skills of the freelancing market, help them master remote work, and excel in the future digital jobs.

“With the strong momentum towards going all-digital, we offer our youth a unique virtual academy with free Nanodegree programs.” Hala El-Gohary, CEO of ITIDA commented.

Hala El-Gohary, CEO of ITIDA

“It has never been a better time to launch such initiative as the Covid-19 is expected to make the freelance market grow rapidly, and will push organizations and governments to accelerate the adoption of digital services, thus the demand for gigs and remote work opportunities will soar,” she said.

The 18-month scholarship program titled “Future Work is Digital-fwd” is focused on teaching web development, data analytics, and digital marketing.

Egypt FWD provides the learners with an integrated learning and upskilling experience which includes access to Udacity online learning classroom, hands-on-practice, expert-reviewed projects, online support webinars, professional industry mentors, interactive peer-to-peer community and continuous coaching.

The educational initiative offers four scalable tracks in each specialization starting with the Challenge track and takes the learners on a journey of upskilling capabilities through the tracks of Professional, Advanced, and outstanding.

Learners will be able to access and register for the scholarship through a dedicated website that ITIDA has launched to help them navigate the tracks and choose the appropriate training course according to their skills level.



Why You Should Launch an Online Business Amid the Coronavirus Shutdown – Business 2 Community

I’m going to state the obvious: it’s a stressful time for most people around the world right now. Small businesses are closing for good, restaurants are barely making end’s meet offering takeout, and event venues are wondering if they will ever be able to host concerts again. On top of all of that, many individuals are grieving the loss of a loved one, or weathering their own COVID-19 diagnosis.

The economic numbers are certainly harrowing in the United States: 26 million jobs have been lost over the last 5-weeks due to coronavirus. Even worse, as of earlier this month, 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment, making it the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

You’re probably saying to yourself: “how on earth could I potentially launch a business in the middle of all of this?” That’s exactly what news outlets and doomsayers want you to think – that there is no opportunity for a fresh start in the midst of a pandemic. I am proposing quite the opposite.

The Online World is Bustling as We Speak

If you don’t believe me yet, just think back to last month when Amazon announced they were hiring 100,000 new workers to accommodate for their surge in product demands. Walmart also hired 100,000 new workers amid product requests, with other companies like CVS posting 80,000 new available job openings. Other e-commerce companies across the board are presently experiencing a surge in their products, as shopping online has become the only way to get our hands on the products we love the most.

Recommended For You Webcast, June 2nd: How to Modernize Content Production and Data Collection to Drive Faster Growth
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Moving into the world of freelancing, many assume that freelancers and online gig workers have suffered a blow throughout this pandemic. Think again. Forbes highlighted that freelancers are experiencing increased demand in their digital services for the new companies pivoting online. Companies once only accessible through brick-and-mortar now need websites built, pictures taken, copy written, and videos edited. Instead of hiring a person that costs them $60,000 per year, they can outsource all of it to freelancers happily awaiting their orders on the likes of and

So, although the physical world may look like a ghost town, product demand, service offerings, deals, and discounts didn’t disappear. In fact, they’re all still there! You just need to go online.

Get In on the Action Before It’s Too Late

Millions are pouring online to launch their online version of their business today. Traditionally in-person industries, like personal training and dance lessons, are also pivoting online using video streaming software. Many personal trainers are offering one-on-one Zoom lessons, as well as nutrition consultations. And don’t forget doctors – the telemedicine advancements have been astronomical. Every single industry could benefit from leveraging the internet.

Right now is the perfect time to launch a freelancing profile, an online business, or a service-based streaming site. People are looking for their same beloved products and services today, even if they have to stay at home. If you don’t get online and accommodate the change, someone else will.

Before I wrap this up, here are 4 more reasons why you should finally make that business dream a reality through your laptop:

  1. Many Sites Are Offering Discounts Today: Businesses are ready to negotiate right now. The uncertainty of the future has many big name companies, like WordPress or Squarespace, willing to offer their usual website packages for less money if you sign up with them for 12-24 months at a time. Be sure to call these companies in advance and ask for deals.
  2. There is Demand for Your Services: Whether you want to freelance write or sell a product, the statistics above don’t lie: there is a lot of demand for what you could be offering.
  3. Accumulate Reviews Before Your Competitors Do: On most freelancing sites, user profiles come with reviews as social proof. The more reviews you accumulate, the more people will readily buy from you. If you get started amassing these reviews today, you will be that much farther ahead of the person who decides to freelance one year from now.
  4. Digital Immersion is the Future: The world was already heading towards total gig economy immersion. Coronavirus has just confirmed it. Previous studies estimated that 60% of the U.S. workforce would be in the gig economy by 2027. I say that number comes much sooner after this pandemic.

What are you waiting for? The beauty of launching an online business is that it costs much less than opening a retail store. You just need internet, a laptop, and the desire to make it happen. Get in on the action before it’s too late.


Launch Your Stay-At-Home Career With This $30 Freelance Boot Camp –

Take heart, job seekers: The current health crisis might be temporarily taking many of our leisure time options away, but it’s opening a lot of new doors for those who are willing and able to work from home—not just because they have to, but because they want to.

Take a browse through newer platforms like Fiverr and it’s obvious that there’s a market for nearly any skill. The hardest part is actually getting in there and building a body of work. How much do you charge? Who should you reach out to? These are all tough questions, and they’re best answered by experts. The good news is, anybody can have access to that advice in the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle, which is now just $30.

This roundup of online classes is a tutorial in how to launch a new work-from-home career, using nearly any skill set. It includes proven insights on some of the latest online marketplaces, plus time-honored techniques for keeping things professional—even in your pajamas.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll learn:

  • Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love: This intro course will let you assess what you need out of your new gigs: a steady primary income or a supplement to your 9-to-5. Either way, you’ll learn how to develop a portfolio, build your own website, and plan for tax time.

  • Sales & Marketing for Freelancers: This course is about your relationship with those all-important clients. You’ll get tips on how to find them, how to keep them, and even how to turn them into references.

  • Kickstart a Freelance Editor & Proofreader Career on Upwork: A great work ethic and an affinity for grammar is key on Upwork, where you can bid on copy-editing jobs and grow a great reputation quickly. But it’s equally important to know how to bid on those jobs in the first place.

  • Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today: Fiverr has really opened up the floodgates for a whole new breed of freelancer. No matter what you’re an expert in, there’s a buyer out there somewhere. Learn how to find them here.

  • Freelance Success for Artists: A Quick & Easy Guide: Here’s the course that will teach you how to balance your creative side with your practical needs and turn that combo into a stable career as a for-hire designer, artist, or videographer.

  • The Complete Freelance Writing Course: From copywriting to ghostwriting, there’s a job out there for anyone who can write. This targeted class helps you find your niche and handle feedback from clients in a quick and constructive way.

  • Freelance Wealth Kit: Get Started Freelancing: This course tells you how to take an entrepreneurial approach to your new gigs, marketing your work as you go and building a personal brand as you help other businesses along.

  • How to Win Jobs Freelancing on Upwork: A more general look at the popular freelancer platform and how to to build an eye-catching profile on it.

That’s more than 13 hours of instruction, and it’s now available for $29.99—more than 95 percent off the MSRP.

Further Reading


Want to thrive as a freelancer? This online guide is 98% off. – Mashable

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Learn how to stand out from the pack with these courses.
Learn how to stand out from the pack with these courses.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: Kickstart your freelance career with this course bundle for $29.99, a 98% savings as of May 29.

Not to alarm you or anything, but it’s a rough moment to be looking for a new gig. If you’re struggling to find work or searching for an additional stream of income, you may want to look into kickstarting a side hustle or pivoting to a freelance role and working for yourself.

If you have a marketable skill perfect for freelancing (think copywriting, web design, digital marketing, and coding) but don’t want to enter the freelance world blind, the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle will show you the ropes. For just $29.99, you’ll receive eight courses, all of which are designed to help your freelance career thrive. Here’s a sneak peek:

Kickstart a Freelance Editor and Proofreader Career on Upwork

Upwork is pretty much the Facebook of freelancing — it’s the biggest platform there is. If editing and proofreading is your thing, this course will teach you how to create an effective cover letter for editing gigs. You’ll learn the most effective bidding principles, and how much to bid to score as many contracts as possible. To hone your skill, it also offers bonus tips for editing and proofreading that can result in a 97% client satisfaction rating for your profile.

Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today

Another renowned freelancing platform is Fiverr, and with this course, you’ll get an insider view of the site. Think of it as a roadmap for gaining a competitive edge against other freelancers bidding for the same jobs. You’ll receive tips on how to identify skills that you can sell, create Fiverr gigs that match your interests and values, as well as gain access to resources that will make you profitable on the platform. 

Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick and Easy Guide

Whether you’re a designer, illustrator, multimedia artist, or filmmaker, this course will fill you in on the tried-and-true best practices for clinching repeat clients. You’ll learn how to deliver your best work and excellent customer service to make any client want to hire you over and over again. You’ll also get tips on how to best build your portfolio, create a stellar reputation, set your prices so you can rake in more profit, piece together rock-solid contracts, and so much more.

The Complete Freelance Writing Course

Word wranglers out there will benefit from this course, which offers a step-by-step actionable roadmap that teaches you how to build a freelance writing business and secure your first paid writing gig ASAP. You’ll get help on finding a freelance writing niche that you’ll thrive in, and receive instruction on how to build a portfolio that clients will find a hard time saying no to. You’ll also learn how to craft a compelling pitch that will help you stand out against other writers. 

Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love

Working for yourself and starting a business that capitalizes on your skillset may seem daunting, but this course takes all the guesswork out of freelancing, so you can maintain a business you love. You’ll learn how to build an effective website from scratch, discover the best moonlighting best practices, gain valuable business and tax tips, and more. 

Sales and Marketing for Freelancers

For newbie freelancers, this course will teach you how to find your first clients. It will train you on how to win contracts with better quality clients over time by imparting with you actionable tips on marketing yourself not only as a freelancer but also as a full-blown entrepreneur. 

Freelance Wealth Kit: Get Started Freelancing

This course is designed to give you a bird’s eye view of the freelancing business as a whole. It will teach you why thinking in terms of $/hour will only limit your growth, fill you in on internet marketing strategies that can secure sustainable leads and clients, dispense tips on streamlining your sales and operations process, and impart with you the steps to acquiring passive income assets.

How to Win Jobs Freelancing on UpWork

With so many freelancers fighting for the same jobs as you do, it can be hard to stand out from the pack and win contracts. This course aims to teach you how to create a profile that potential clients will love, how to make your skills shine with Upwork tests, and how to apply for gigs in a way that will make you an instant hire.

When bought separately, the courses in this bundle would set you back about $1,500, but for a limited time, you can get everything on sale for only $29.99.


What the Tech? How to Start a New At-Home Career – Alabama News – Alabama News Network

Posted: May 28, 2020 7:19 PM CDT

We’ve looked at some ways to earn money online before, taking surveys, driving for Lyft or Uber and while you can certainly pick up a little extra money doing that, you may be looking for something more permanent.

A new career, or owning your own business. These two websites and services can help.

Upwork is a site that matches companies looking for people with specific talents and abilities for mostly office type work. If you’ve got experience as an administrative assistant, marketer, sales, or IT or creative design, Upwork lists your abilities and what type job you want to do.

Companies and small businesses often hire freelancers for those jobs, and they can pay very well.

Virtual assistants usually can make $25-$45 an hour. On the site I found one freelancer who has earned over $5,000 and one woman who’s made over $90,000 finding leads on LinkedIn, doing web research and writing for companies that can’t or won’t hire a fulltime employee to do those tasks.

Another freelancer charges $63 an hour writing for sales, and email marketing.

People with IT backgrounds earn as much as $100 and bookkeepers charge $95 an hour.

What’s even more attractive is that someone can work for multiple companies at the same time depending on the workload. And you can work from anywhere. Got a laptop but want to go to the beach? There are stories of people traveling the world while freelancing for companies thousands of miles away.

Some recent college graduates say they opened up shop on Upwork right after graduation and make a nice living doing freelance work for small businesses and large companies.

Your listing is free, companies are charged 3% for processing payments. Upwork is highly respected and has been in business since 2003 it has an A+rating with the Better Business Bureau.

HomeAdvisor is similar for people who work primarily with their hands. If you can do construction work, yard work, moving or staging a home for real estate agents, you can start your own business by answering a few questions about your work, undergo a background check and offer some referrals which can be from family or friends.

If this sounds familiar, HomeAdvisor acquired competitor Angie’s List in 2017.

Depending on the work you do and where you live, HomeAdvisor often says it will start sending you leads by the end of the day. You don’t need to take out any ads, customers find you using the HomeAdvisor website.

Home Advisor does not take a percentage of what you make, but charges $288 a year for the listing. It does not have a rating from the BBB.

Many will be more likely to hire freelancers rather than full-time employees who require benefits.

Fortunately, Technology has eliminated any barriers to entry to starting your own business By creating a free Facebook page for your business you should be up and running, very little cost to get started.


Without government help for freelancers, coronavirus will destroy the theatre – The Guardian


love theatre. I love the people, the community, the buzz. But the future of this industry is under threat – a pain felt most deeply by the people who make it a fabulous business. On 16 March, London’s West End closed its doors. Regional tours followed suit shortly afterwards, leaving actors, musicians, technical, wardrobe, wigs and front-of-house staff unemployed overnight. Performers and musicians couldn’t be furloughed because they’re technically self-employed, despite many of them being contracted well into 2021. Of course, that was OK because of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s self-employment income support scheme (SEISS). Or was it?

Unfortunately, for the thousands of people employed in the theatre industry, there were so many gaps to fall through. The help for self-employed people only lasts until the end of May, while the furlough scheme extends until October. Show business is notoriously unpredictable; there is no job security, so if you earned more than £50,000 in profits each year over the past three years but haven’t been able to find work since, you are not eligible for the grant.

Imagine if you’d just landed yourself the role of a lifetime and moved to London to pursue your dream. Perhaps you took out a six- or 12-month lease on a property, knowing you were contracted for the duration of the tenure, despite not earning anywhere near this amount last year. The hundreds of graduates fresh out of training, many with massive student debt, who have been working in the industry since last summer are also not eligible for the scheme as they haven’t yet had the chance to file a tax return. And another group who won’t benefit, despite paying their taxes, are people who trade as limited liability companies.

It’s not that these people don’t want to work, are shielding, or taking an extended break during the pandemic. It’s that there are no jobs in the industry they’re employed in. What we all hoped might happen – SEISS until May, ready for a triumphant reopening of the West End in June, with all regions following shortly afterwards – has turned out to not be so simple. What happens after the end of May, both for those lucky enough to have claimed SEISS, and for those who fell through the gaps?

These are real people with mortgages, rent, bills, children, elderly relatives. We’ve all accepted that theatre will be one of the last industries to regain some semblance of “normality”, so why can’t the government accept that the people who have fallen through the gaps need ongoing help?

Many members of the theatre industry applied for universal credit only to be told they did not qualify. Every supermarket around London now has its own ensemble cast of temporary staff consisting of the hardworking, versatile people of the theatre industry – but these jobs won’t be here forever. And not everyone is able to get a temporary job. The government must act now to preserve the arts and help the amazing network of people that make the industry as spectacular as it is.

Better schemes are possible. The Spanish government recently announced it would be introducing a universal basic income. And in the Netherlands and France, theatre professionals can rely on an established social security system that ensures artists still get paid between jobs – coronavirus or no coronavirus. What if the next Elaine Paige or Michael Ball has just had their first professional job cut short by the pandemic, and is financially unable to continue in the industry? The lack of support for people working in this industry sends a signal the government thinks that such occupations are merely a paid hobby, that people can rely on savings, or get a “proper” job until they’re “fortunate” enough to pick up where they left off.

When I was employed by British Airways, belonging to Unite the Union was a saving grace. Amid the economic uncertainty caused by coronavirus, unions have greater power to hold industries and government to account. I recently spoke to Paul Fleming, who is a candidate to be the general secretary of Equity, the trade union for creative practitioners, and is currently the central London theatres organiser. “Thanks to strong unions, our members have organised good agreements to put the industry on pause; we’re ready to reopen when it’s safe and practical. But without guaranteed income for all our industry’s freelancers, a whole workforce is threatened with being washed away – the most under-represented artists first,” he told me.

“With no unions on the government’s reopening task force, and just days to go until SEISS ends, the government risks telling artists and audiences that they don’t care about theatre’s economic and social importance.”

As a whole, the arts and culture industry brings £10.8bn to the economy every year – not to mention every pre- and post-theatre dinner, every quick glass of wine in a pub before a show, every train, plane and bus ticket, every hotel stay. The true contribution of theatreland to local economies is incalculable. For every £1 invested in the arts by the government, the industry returns £5. This is our hour of need. At a moment like this, we need the arts more than ever.

• Amy Hart is a former cabin crew manager and a 2019 Love Island contestant


8 Things To Keep In Mind Before Your First Upwork Assignment – Entrepreneur

May 28, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The world has changed a lot in the past few months. Maybe you got laid off from your full-time job and are ready to earn some extra . Or maybe you now have time to pursue a freelance dream. 

I started freelancing a few years ago and eventually was able to open my own branding agency. Because I got my start on Upwork, I’d like to share with you some tips on taking the leap and joining this freelancing platform. 

Related: 11 Best Websites to Find Freelance Jobs and Make Extra Money

Deciding to become a freelancer is a big decision, so once you’re committed, make sure that you start off on the right foot. In addition to filling out your profile, writing a strong introduction, using a professional profile picture and adding to your digital portfolio, here are some tips to help you get started. 

1. Be selective about jobs

If you’re new to Upwork, you’re probably not familiar with the fact that in order to apply to a job, you will need connects. Connects are what you need to submit proposals on Upwork — think of them as virtual tokens. Once you create your new profile, you automatically get 20 free connects to help you try the platform and get you started. When you run out, you can buy more, or complete milestones. If you become a Rising Talent or Top Rated Freelancer, you’ll get more free connects. You can also upgrade to a Freelancer Plus Membership, which comes with 70 connects per month.

Related: These Are the Skills Freelancers Need Most to Make an Impact Right Now

Upwork uses this policy to ensure that freelancers are serious about the jobs they apply for. So when you’re applying to jobs, choose ones that you feel you’re qualified for to make the most out of your connects, because there’s no guarantee you’ll get the job. However, if the client ends up closing the job without hiring a freelancer, you’ll get back the connects you used to apply. 

Connects aren’t the only reason you should be selective about applying to jobs. If you apply for and are offered a job that’s more than you can handle, it can have a detrimental effect on your freelancing career. If you can’t deliver what you promised, you won’t get paid — and more importantly, you’ll be left with a bad review. Negative reviews decrease your and affect your chances of getting hired again. 

Related: How to Get 5-Star Reviews on Upwork

2. Create a good cover letter template

When you start applying to jobs on Upwork, you’ll need to send a cover letter introducing yourself. This letter should explain to clients how you can help and why they should hire you. Writing cover letters can be taxing and time-consuming, so make things easier for yourself by creating a template. You can personalize this template for each job you apply to, so you don’t have to start from scratch for each cover letter. Make sure that the tone is appropriate and professional — no abbreviations, slang or typos. 

3. Read the client’s reviews

Just like freelancers, clients get reviews on Upwork. Read them carefully to see what other freelancers have to say about them. (And cross-check the freelancer’s profile to make sure they leave credible reviews.) Even if the reviews aren’t negative, you’ll get a better feel for how the client operates…and an idea if it’s the right fit for you. 

Related: 10 of the Highest-Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2019

4. Encourage clients to take an introductory call with you

When you’re starting out as a freelancer on Upwork, you won’t have any reviews or completed projects, so it can be difficult for clients to trust you. Set yourself apart from other freelancers by offering to set up a preliminary call before contracts and commitments are set in place. This is a great way to convince potential clients that you’re the right person for the job, and also lets them know that you’re a great communicator with confidence in your abilities. Show that you’re not reluctant to have a phone call or video chat, and you’ll get bonus points for building credibility and trust and demonstrating your determination. 

5. Make sure the client’s payment is verified.

If a client is new to Upwork, it might take a few days for their payment method to be verified, so wait until it’s approved by the platform before you start working on a project. After that, make sure that the client sends you the offer (guaranteeing you’re the freelancer hired for the job) and funds at least the first milestone. This means the money is in escrow, so you can request payment as soon as you finish the project’s first milestone. 

Related: The 7 Best Freelance Sites to Find Work

6. Be prepared to work for free…

…at least for the first few jobs. When you’re starting out as a freelancer, your primary goal isn’t to make money (sorry, but it’s the truth!). For your first projects on Upwork, focus on getting positive reviews instead of big paychecks. Start with low bids and even work for free if you have to. You’ll build your portfolio, your professional network, your credibility and your reputation. On Upwork, your reputation is everything. You’ll be competing with Top Rated Freelancers, so use those positive reviews to stand out from the crowd and stay in the talent pool. 

7. Check the client’s location

Consider different time zones when you’re applying to projects. If the client is headquartered halfway across the world, it could be difficult to schedule calls or ask for fast feedback. But if you’re someone who works late nights and early mornings, it could end up being a great fit. 

8. Pay attention to red flags

In my experience, it’s a big red flag when a client wants to work (and compensate you) outside of Upwork. There’s a reason that freelancers trust platforms like Upwork, so if a client asks to take things offline, it puts you in a difficult, unethical situation. It’s okay to use tools outside of Upwork, but the contract and payment should always be done through the freelancing platform. 

Related: How to Hire the Right Freelancer


Freelancing could be the way forward for thousands of Americans. Here are some points to consider – The Next Web

TLDR: Want to work doing what you love as a freelance professional? The Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle has some ideas for making that happen.

If your time at home the past 10 weeks or so has made you appreciate the idea of never fighting traffic or trudging into the office every again…you aren’t alone. This WFH era has started the wheels spinning for thousands of Americans about the type of day-to-day work life we’d each enjoy.

Of course, most freelancers have been big fans of the remote work model for years. In fact, 70 percent of independent freelancers say they’re highly satisfied in their work, a marked improvement over the 54 percent mark when you ask that same question of all American workers.

But it isn’t all lounging around and watching paychecks roll in. With the training in the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle ($29.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals), you’ll learn everything you need to know to stop working for The Man and start working for yourself.

This training package features eight courses that offer anyone thinking of hanging their own shingle and embarking on life as a skilled freelancer a solid roadmap for joining the gun-for-hire business model.

Since freelancing is first and foremost a business, two courses — Freelance Kickstart: Start a Successful Business You Love and Sales and Marketing for Freelancers — not only give you the template and proper mindset for running a successful freelancing operation, but also the marketing strategy to forge those new business partnerships.

Artists and writers can slide naturally into the remote worker mode, so Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick and Easy Guide and The Complete Freelance Writing Course explain how these talented pros can best build your portfolio, reputation, experience, and income while also staying motivated and overcoming fear and uncertainty.

Finally, knowing how to use online freelance hubs like Fiverr and Upwork is key. How to Win Jobs Freelancing on UpWork, Kickstart a Freelance Editor and Proofreader Career on Upwork, and Fiverr: Start a Profitable Fiverr Freelance Business Today each present useful tactics for creating effective bid proposal cover letters to attract clients, winning contracts through smart bidding, finding gigs that match your interests and values, and more.

Each of these courses retails for $199 on its own, but by getting this entire bundle now, the whole package is only $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Read next: How the Dutch government uses data to predict the weather and prepare for natural disasters

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Moonlighting Provides Freelancers with Access to Important Resources – Editor & Publisher Magazine- Newspaper & News Publishing Industry News – Editor And Publisher Magazine

Twelve years ago, many people were left jobless or in constant fear of losing their jobs when the market crashed. Thus, many of them turned to LinkedIn including Jeff Tennery.

In 2014, an idea that had been rattling around in his mind for six years came to fruition. Tennery, along with Roy Slater and Ritesh Johar, created Moonlighting, a platform that connects professionals with freelance jobs while providing tools that simplifies communications and payments for hiring managers. Now, Moonlighting is expanding the playing field for freelance workers with a new solution, Freelance as a Service (FaaS).

Moonlighting partnered with leaders from the banking, tax, accounting and financial service industries to provide a one-stop-shop for freelancers. The solution includes access to FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting platform; H&R Block tax solutions; and Stash’s mobile banking and investing platform.

In addition, Moonlighting partnered with IPSE.US, a nonprofit association that advocates on behalf of America’s independent workers. Through this partnership, Moonlighting can make group-rated insurance at favorable rates available to independent workers.

Jeff Tennery

Big names in the news industry like Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune have also partnered with Moonlighting. According to Tennery, the companies invested in the company early on because they recognized that their classifieds needed a gig platform solution to satisfy the growing needs of their audience. In addition, they see the same need for freelancing and on-demand hiring trends, said Tennery.

“First and foremost, (Moonlighting) was built to be a marketplace and an ability for somebody to hang a shingle and say, ‘Hey, I’m in business, please hire me,’ which we did a really good job of…but what happens once you get the client? What happens once you get the job?” Tennery said. “So, we started drilling down deeper and surveying our audience and asking, ‘What do you need?’”

It became apparent that there wasn’t a lot of places for freelancers to get healthcare, legal life documents or resources to ensure that their accounting and taxes were being handled appropriately, Tennery said. Instead of building these resources from scratch, Moonlighting decided to partner with some of the best companies out there.

To utilize these resources—and others that Moonlighting offers—users can become a member online or through the mobile app for either $9.99 a month or for nearly $120 yearly. Currently, the platform has 800,000 registered freelancers.

Colton P., one of Moonlighting’s users, said, “Moonlighting has made what was formerly complicated such a simpler process. It is as easy as opening the app and finding work that needs to be done—I don’t have to go out and search out jobs or contact people to see if they know anyone that needs something done.”

Tennery said from day one Moonlight’s mission is to help people. “We’re on a mission to help somebody earn income that might change their life (or) change their career path. We really pride ourselves on helping people pursue their passions of how they want to work.”

For more information, visit


Why Brands are Ditching Their Agencies for New, High-Growth, Venture-Backed Business Models – Entrepreneur

May 27, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This article was written by Lindsay Patton, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.

As the gig economy becomes more appealing to those in the workforce, brands large and small are turning to new venture-backed business models like Assemble, The Mom Project, TopTal and others that give brands access to pre-vetted talent and unlimited capacity to meet their growing needs. While there are pros and cons, the benefits—especially for smaller brands trying to scale growth—outweigh the negatives. These verticalized-labor (jobs in one industry) models are typically less expensive, convenient to work with and give brands an opportunity to pull in their own team of experts almost on-demand. As brands start to get wise on the benefits, agencies will eventually have to evolve their business model or wind down and take the freelance contractor route themselves.

Gig economy growth. 

More than a quarter of the workforce participates in some form of gig work—whether it’s as a full-time contractor, part-time contractor, or a freelance side hustle. One in 10 people rely on gigs for their main income, with the highest contractor concentration in locations like San Francisco, Denver, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle and New York.

Flexible working conditions are a huge reason why people are jumping to gig life over traditional work environments. People are free to work whenever and wherever they like, breaking free of constrictive 9-to-5 office environments. Many gigs can be done remotely and research has found this model boosts performance by 13 percent, compared to a typical office environment. As a result, the agency model is evolving. 

Instead of hiring full-time employees that juggle different roles, companies are now recruiting individuals with specific skill sets to match up with their clients. It’s a win for all: the client gets guaranteed talent through a highly-vetted expert freelancer, the client is happy and the business keeps them, and the contractor doesn’t have to go out and sell themselves to clients and manage their own bookkeeping and invoicing. They get paid directly through a company that is established, reliable and pays on schedule. 

The pros of hiring contractors.

For one, independent contractors are an inexpensive way to get the same quality work you would get with an agency. Agencies often charge by retainer, and monthly hours can and do fluctuate. If an agency has low hours one month, the brand is not getting its money’s worth of work. By hiring hourly or project-based contractors, brands know exactly what they’re getting for their budget.  

The digital world has also changed how brands look to source outside work. With rapid technological advances, companies have to keep up and can find it frustrating to go through all the agency layers to get a question answered. Contractors offer direct and efficient communication and close interaction with one point of contact. Working with one person also encourages collaboration instead of agency direction, which makes it easier for brands to hold onto their creative vision.

Contractors are also very convenient. Think about the Uber/Lyft model. Instead of scheduling or phoning a taxi, people can get a ride in minutes without having to speak with anyone. Doing rideshare isn’t less expensive, it’s more convenient. Likewise, some freelancers may have rates and retainers as expensive as agencies but that direct-communication convenience makes it all worthwhile for clients. 

Freelancers’ effect on KPIs.

Most importantly for brands is that their key performance indicators (KPIs) are getting a boost, and a lot of it has to do with the mental health aspect working freelance offers. The flexibility and freedom of the freelancing lifestyle has made it so 84 percent of people who have been working gigs full time say they are satisfied with their arrangements.  

Freelancers highly benefit employers, as people who have less stress and added flexibility are more motivated and productive. On average, companies have saved around $2,000 per freelancer when they choose to contract out work. Additionally, being away from an office full time means contract workers are less likely to get sick, which increases productivity. 

For brands, independent contractors often give them freedom to be choosy when finding the right person to take on a project, as 45 percent of contract workers have a specialized skill. Instead of getting the talent that comes with an agency, brands are able to curate and assemble their own dream team of experts. 

The cons of hiring contractors.

While brands are saving a lot of money by hiring freelance contractors, there are limitations. Many contractors only work part-time hours due to their own scheduling choices and/or other clients. Limited hours means contractors are not as immediately available as full-time employees. 

Freelancers can and do have a large portfolio with impressive clients, however. New business models like Assemble or TopTal have unlimited capacity and expanded services to attract larger contracts and more customers. Similarly, the lack of bandwidth makes it difficult for one freelancer to take on high-volume projects. If brands are looking for a more streamlined process for multiple tasks or large projects, one of these new models makes a lot of sense.

The future of contract workers. 

Will contract work be the new model? Out of the 57 million Americans involved in the gig economy, 28.5 million are focused on freelancing long term, with GenZ pushing freelance growth. In 2019, 53 percent of workers were between 18 and 22 years old, with millennials (ages 23 to 38) making up 40 percent of the gig industry.

With COVID-19 changing the world’s economy, contractor growth is only pushing that evolution further. Getting into the gig economy—especially through safer, remote, work-from-home opportunities—is a way for people to transition back into the workforce via traditional full-time jobs or full-time contract work. 

Not considering our new working model, it’s projected that half of Americans will participate in some sort of gig work in the next five years. Ninety-one percent of freelancers believe the gig format will only grow, with less stress and increased income being two big factors of turning to contract work. That number was 77 percent in 2014. Out of workers who freelance full time, 61 percent say there is not enough money that would get them to go back to a traditional workplace.

These numbers show people want the freedom and flexibility of creating their own schedule, and we’ll be seeing a completely revamped workforce within the next two decades.