A gig economy platform for freelancers is allowing people to donate directly to Ukrainian workers by commissioning them for projects they don’t have to complete.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, countries around the world have been chipping in to support people fleeing the war zone, and businesses, too, have been figuring out the best way to help those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Until recently, gig economy workers in Ukraine were still paying fees to the apps they normally use to find freelancer projects. Wired reports that, amid the war, some freelancers are continuing to work, but renegotiating deadlines with clients and relying on their goodwill to put projects on pause when necessary.
But with hundreds of thousands of Ukranians seeking refuge in countries such as Hungary and Poland – the UK has only recently allowed Ukrainian refugees to apply for UK visas to join family members – the challenge of delivering work to clients is understandably huge. And as is the nature of self-employed or freelance work, if the job doesn’t get done, payment won’t be made.
Up to three per cent of Ukraine’s workforce are registered on web platforms designed for freelance work, making the country the world’s seventh largest supplier of online labour.
Software engineers, graphic designers, project managers, IT technicians, editors and copywriters across Ukraine use platforms including Upwork and Fiverr to complete tasks for clients, often overseas, at a rate lower than those in the commissioning country.