George Krasadakis

@gkrasadakis

A startup ecosystem by unemployed people

September 29th 2017
mage: pixabay

Imagine a platform where unemployed people can ‘safely’ collaborate and experiment with concepts and ideas: ‘virtual startups’ powered by unemployed people

46% youth unemployment, right now in Greece; not to mention the hundreds of thousands of ‘convenience jobs’ — where highly skilled people are underemployed for a basic salary of a few hundreds of euros. And it is not only Greece: Spain follows with 39%, Italy with 37% and many more countries across the globe with significant youth unemployment levels[1]

Entire generations are ‘forced to fail’ in the era of the financial (+political, +social) crisis. At the same time, the so-called ‘brain drain’ further increases the gap between economically weak and strong countries: high-unemployment countries are investing in people — by providing advanced education and other social services — only to realize that, when those young graduates are ready to join the market, a significant percentage of them finally offers their skills to competitor; thus, widening the imbalance.

At the same time, the impact of the workforce transformation under the lights of the AI revolution, will globalize and intensify the problem.

A massive outflow of talent towards economies of better state — where a meaningful job is an option

Unemployment at global scale is a tremendous problem of social arrangement and culture: It reflects how people perceive reality and economic activity, and how they decide to use their energy, skills and capabilities in order to shape their future and impact their environment:

Unemployed people are typically disconnected and in many cases isolated from the markets; they tend to spend their energy in search of the next ‘good, safe job’ and they typically avoid exposure to new business, entrepreneurship or similar ‘risky’ activities

Although governments offer services and programs for unemployed people, they fail to deal with the problem at its core: societies need a mentality shift towards innovation, creativeness and experimentation

The ‘economic system’ must encourage people to use their talents and capabilities, to take controlled risks in order to go after alternative professional opportunities

Unemployed people, in tenths of millions across the globe, can be seen as an enormous manpower which the ‘economic system’ fails to use: talented people, senior industry professionals, domain experts, enthusiastic graduates, scientists, entrepreneurial youth and many more classes of unemployed people, trapped in a job-seeking state with limited or no options at all.

Unemployed people need to shift from a mode of ‘competing each other for the limited jobs available’ to ‘collaborating with each other to create new opportunities and jobs’

What if there was a specialized collaboration platform for unemployed people, to allow them to connect and exchange ideas? To offer each other expertise and services, and potentially form new businesses? To run zero-cost business experiments by exchanging services, expertise and resources? To network and build strong professional relationships?

A startup platform driven by unemployed people

Imagine an online service with a single objective: to empower unemployed people and inspire them to discover new options and alternative professional paths.

A modern online service providing the tools for intelligent, skills & intention-based team formation — by unemployed people for unemployed people

A service providing individuals and teams access to an extended network of resources and knowledge. A platform encouraging professional relationships among unemployed people while fostering networking, resource and knowledge discovery. An ecosystem establishing effective information flows across multiple business and media networks.

This business ecosystem can provide the means of collaboration among unemployed people towards a shared business goal (a new product, service, company). At the same time, it can provide special support by local governments and organizations (funds, programs, resources etc.) and the connected ecosystem (private funding, business angels, Banks offering special interest loans, VCs, Research, Academia etc.)

Unemployed people will be joining this online platform to:

1. Announce/ share their professional goals, interests, intents; their skills and capabilities

2. Be found by teams or other users with similar/ complementary skill-sets and goals

3. Find potential partners, associates and/or team members

4. Submit a business idea and set up a working team/ ‘virtual startup’

5. Join clusters and ‘virtual startups’, typically consisting of other unemployed people — users of the platform

For instance, a potential entrepreneur — currently unemployed — has a great business idea and needs experts in certain technical skills. In our scenario, the entrepreneur gets connected with other unemployed people, through the platform, and finds those with the right skills and also with complementary intentions. For example, web-developers with no entrepreneurial goals — just looking for a good professional deal and possibly small-scale participation in a venture.

This self-organizing team of unemployed people may lead to a ‘virtual startup’, which can then be incubated under certain programs and processes. Part of this support could be offered by local governments and/or private sector sponsors.

The ‘virtual startup’ can access a number of resources, and can significantly benefit from systematic exposure by the media & business stakeholders connected to the platform

Assuming interesting business outcomes from this ‘virtual startup’, several scenarios are possible — such as funding, investment, special loan agreements or even initial sales via the exposure through the connected media network.

Such an ecosystem can lead to dramatic long-term improvement of workforce, markets and societies.

The platform can promote success stories and business initiatives via the connected ‘media network’ thus attracting more talented people from local or international markets

[1] Youth unemployment rate in Europe

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