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Wed 27 Dec 2017 12:28 PM

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E-commerce platform to 'organise and help regulate' freelance environment

UAE-based BusinessMentals will provide freelancers with expert advice and training

E-commerce platform to 'organise and help regulate' freelance environment

An e-commerce platform aimed at providing freelancers with professional support in a largely disorganised sector, has launched in the UAE, where there are over 350,000 estimated freelancers.

BusinessMentals offers expert templates and advice to support licensed and part time freelancers, of which 85 percent fail within 30 months due to business incompetence, according to a study by the World Bank.

Founder Steve Ashby said the current freelancing sector is unsustainable, despite some outworkers being profitable.

“It is also a fact that the freelance sector is totally unregulated. Standards of performance, reliability and ethical behaviour vary wildly. At the same time, as the segment is growing, the push-back from the clients of freelancers is growing too,” he said.

Ashby said many clients are dissatisfied with freelancers’ work ethics and reliability, but added that they suffer from customers’ impossible deadlines and refusals to pay them.

“One of our clients was owed AED5,000 but hadn’t invoiced for it. She bought our 'quote to cash' templates and process pack for AED150 and within three days she achieved a 3,300% return on her investment.  It’s hard to go wrong with numbers like that,” he claimed.