Freelancers pin hope on economy

Jannatul Islam

2nd July, 2020 11:23:23 printer

Freelancers pin hope on economy

Freelancers with online working platforms have kept their hope alive for the economy through remitting foreign currencies into the market amid the pandemic situation.

Experts mentioned that freelancers can revive the economy as most of the companies are reduce workforces for desk jobs as corona hits business badly.

Despite a surge of unemployment, thousands of Bangladeshi freelancers have shown the way of digital transformations of work opportunities staying home. 

A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients through the proliferation of UpWork, and other sharing economy platforms through connected over the internet.

There are around 1.1 million freelancers working for outsourcing platforms of which 650 thousands are registered with platforms and 450 thousands are working offline in second contact.

Meanwhile, around 450 thousand registered workers are working for different platforms and remitting around 250-300million US dollar annually though different banking channels, according to industry insiders.

Sector insiders mentioned that the freelancing or online outsourcing work may create new opportunities for Bangladesh economy under ‘new normal’ situation as the second largest sources of labourers for freelance platforms.

According to the latest assessment of Oxford Internet Institute,Bangladesh is the second most favourite country in supplying online labourers after India and the United States.

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) has been mentoring the freelancers in the country as leading trade body in technology sector.

Talking to Daily Sun, BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir mentioned that the trade body has continued skill development of freelancers though online training amid pandemic to lead the global platforms.

“From BASIS, we have different training programme for freelancers and payment solutions to remit foreign currencies though banking channel. Besides, we also appreciate successes of freelancers through annual award programme,” Almas Kabir, also Managing Director at MetroNet, added.

Bangladesh Outsourcing Awards recognized successful freelancers from 64 districts alongside of special categories of women and organizations.

In collaboration with BASIS, Payoneer and Mastercard, Bank Asia introduced Shadhin Card, first ever of its kind, to enable freelancers to remit forex income directly from international employers to legal banking channel.

Bangladesh Freelancer Development Society (BFDS) represented the freelancers in the country and supported professional to check in with platforms.

BFDS Chairman Dr Tanjiba Rahman said the freelancers have kept Bangladesh ahead in race of global outsourcing market amid unemployment in desk-based jobs.

“Thousands of jobopportunities are in freelance platforms. Of which, digital marketing and graphic design are dominating deals for Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. During the pandemic, the digital marketing jobs topped while content writing may be future trend for freelancers in ‘new normal,” Dr Tanjiba explained while talking to Daily Sun.

Citing International Labour Organisation data, freelancer Tanjib said the unemployed people will be more than 3 millions in Bangladesh in 2019 of which most of them are women.

“Freelancing job is the lone way to transform the unemployed community into workforces to tap the opportunity of knowledge-based digital economy,” she added.

A freelancer, Md Abubokkor Siddique said the online outsourcing has brought new opportunities to her to become self employed and there is no alternative to learning about the works through online sources before dealing with global clients.

For new entry, freelancers have been suggested to improve in English language.