New online Kiwi marketplace ‘Needed’ aims to provide an ‘income vaccine’ for the growing number of Kiwis looking for a further sense of financial security.
Around 5% of Kiwis currently work as self-employed contractors or freelancers* – with that number expected to rise as people seek out multiple sources of income in a pandemic-stricken economy.
Needed is the go-to place to get things done. An online marketplace that’s keeping things local – championing New Zealand businesses while also supporting the growing local community of freelancers, micro-entrepreneurs, and agencies.
“In order for our economy to recover, it’s vital that we provide a supportive environment for freelance services and to the business marketplace trying to re-establish itself,” says Needed Founder Gideon Banks.
“Needed is like your local farmers market. We’ll be supplying locally grown talent to businesses with unique New Zealand flavour, spirit, and Kiwi ingenuity,” he says.
“Needed will keep our local economy turning by ensuring our finances ‘remain local’, rather than having businesses heading offshore for services – which currently happens with the global freelance sites.”
Banks says the effects of Covid-19 have revealed to some businesses that their work practices and models are outdated. The considerable interest and trend for Kiwis towards the ‘gig economy’ is looking more desirable as businesses cut back and the virtual workforce rises.
“Suddenly, jobs that people thought were secure have become uncertain and people are starting to reconsider what ‘security’ really means,” says Banks.
For freelancer and copywriter Mattie Belsack from Bellbird Writing, security means being able to self-provide.
“Being self-employed in the current economic climate actually feels more secure than working as an employee for a business that is potentially struggling,” she says.
“Needed offers a new way for me to work, giving me the opportunity to connect with Kiwi businesses who want what I have.”
Mattie says that the ‘shop local’ movement shouldn’t stop with our newfound love for Kiwi products – but that we should apply the same awareness to New Zealand services.
“We are a special and unique country with a unique market and specific needs. Who else could be better to provide an answer to those needs than other talented Kiwis? “
“As a nation of small- and medium-sized businesses rather than big-money multinationals, we sing to our own tune, including in the way we do business. When you hire a freelancer, that Kiwi down-to-earth attitude is reflected in the way we deal with each other,” she says.
Marketing Consultant Marijke Timmers from The Marketing Collective, says she has found similar global sites to take a one-size-fits-all approach, not taking into consideration the unique needs of New Zealand-based businesses and freelancers.
“You’re competing with people all over the world and it seems to be largely driven by price, not expertise, so I’m not convinced it’s providing the best outcomes for businesses,” she says.
“At a time where supporting Kiwi businesses is paramount, the localised aspect of Needed will help to build a national groundswell of support for income independence.”
Founder Gideon Banks confirms this, saying Needed was driven off the demand coming from our local businesses, suppliers, and freelancers who desperately require our financial and emotional support more than ever before.
“I believe we all have a civil obligation to seek out opportunities support each other however we can,” he says.
Banks says that Needed is not only offering a tangible service – but says he also hopes to offer up inspiration.
“Difficult times are as much an opportunity as they are a challenge, so we hope Needed provides Kiwis with inspiration to start that project they’ve been thinking about for ages, inspiration to build their skills, and inspiration to connect with others.”