A digital platform, LinkdPro, which connects companies with consultants, intends to embrace technology while simultaneously solving the problem of unemployment in South Africa.
This platform serves as a marketplace for entrepreneurs and consultants in the country, matching freelance business professional from top-tier consulting and advisory firms to companies looking for niche expertise project-based work.
LinkdPro was founded by Chartered Accountant Scelo Makhathini (30), IT expert Eugene De Beer (28) and HR Lerato Manaka (26) in 2016.
This digital platform was envisaged as a solution to the employment crisis by using technology to connect individuals who have taken the leap and are creating their own employment. It gives freelance professionals an opportunity to access the project opportunities which correspond with their skills and interests, while allowing companies to access those professionals who are ready to work flexibly on projects.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Makhathini, says it uses algorithms to match freelance professionals, based on their skills set and experience, to the right project-based work opportunities posted by companies looking for niche expertise on-demand. “Our network of top business professionals include management/strategy consultants, legal consultants, financial consultants and seasoned industry sector experts who are available to fulfil any on-demand business need,” he said.
LinkdPro also helps corporates that want to cut down their expenses by decreasing their salary burden, which also leads to fewer disputes between employers and employees over unpaid salaries. “The company has had a massive growth in the past 12 months of operations including signing on clients listed on the JSE and other multinational companies, and has developed a fertile network of top-tier business professionals and highly experienced industry sector experts,” he said.
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He said its clients have embraced the platform. “They have been generous to us and expand our network within their organisations,” he said. However, securing meetings with key decision-makers within organisations has always been a challenge.
LinkdPro will embark on a campaign to educate corporate companies in South Africa about the benefits of embracing their digital platform, showing how companies can secure top-tier business professionals and industry experts at a fraction of the cost of traditional professional services firms, reduce or expand project teams on-demand and still be in a position to complete projects by using freelance talent.
“Our model is receiving a lot of recognition from corporate South Africa, as companies do not pay any placement fee if they get matched to a freelance business consultant. LinkdPro withholds 20% of the fees paid to business consultants or experts,” he said.
Makhathini advised that as entrepreneurs in digital space they just started with the business, went to the market as soon as they have minimum viable product. “Fail fast, re-engineer and go back at it,” he said.