The Freelance Informer – “Empowering the Freelance Economy”
Millions of freelancers from tech developers to tutors now have a voice in the media.
LONDON, UK, 16 September, 2020/BuzzVestor Media/ — Freelancers contribute more than £165bn of the UK’s economic output, yet rarely get the positive recognition that they deserve from the media or public policy. A growing partnership of tech entrepreneurs and media specialists is aiming to change all that. The Freelance Informer, a multi-industry news source and careers site empowering the freelance economy, was launched today in partnership with ETZ, the international recruitment and fintech specialist.
Nick Woodward, Chairman and Founder of the ETZ Group of companies, saw a gap in the media and explains why the site’s mission is one he can get behind, “I realised that there was no digital publication that represented the views of all stakeholders in the recruitment sector, particularly freelancers. Being a seasoned freelancer myself it occurred to me that we had no voice, and our views were not being listened to. There are circa 5 million freelancers in the UK, and that is why I want The Freelance Informer to be a beacon of truth for all self-employed people who are the engine of our economy.”
For far too long, media and public policy have placed all freelancers – low and high skilled workers – in a very “blunt” one size fits all category. This misrepresentation misses out on the great business stories that freelancers partake in and the imperative research that is now available that proves their contribution to the economy and the companies that hire them.
Andrew Burke, Chair of Business Studies and Dean at Trinity Business School, Dublin, explains, “Highly skilled freelancers, especially those in project-based work, enable companies to reach well beyond the capacity and constraints of their workforce because they bring innovation, expertise, and an entrepreneurial mindset in an agile manner, which in effect creates higher productivity, profitability and ultimately job creation through the growth of the business.”
“In addition to being net creators of employment, freelancers also help level the playing field between small and large firms,” Burke tells The Freelance Informer. “Within a hybrid employment base, freelancers bring their expertise to the heart of a team’s project – as an enhancement – rather than as a threat to permanent staff.”
The UK-based media start-up began its journey with a fully remote team amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and UK lockdown, which ultimately proved fertile ground to develop a content-driven business covering the unique agility, skills, personal stories and entrepreneurial spirit of freelancers and the companies they work with.
Katherine Steiner-Dicks, Founder of BuzzVestor Media and freelance business editor, explains why in a post-COVID economy, freelancers of all walks of life will be integral to the UK’s economic recovery and have earned a place at the table to get their views and insights heard by industry and policymakers: “What this pandemic and every downturn has taught us is that job security is not a given no matter how senior you are in a company. Combine that factor with evidence that a 9 to 5 office job does not fit in with many individuals’ personal circumstances, and it is easy to see why freelancer numbers in the UK have jumped 56%, according to the ONS in the past decade. That figure is expected to rise with the upsurge and global acceptance of remote working – where possible.”
If redundancy is at all a concern, Steiner-Dicks suggests, “now is the time to reach out for those referrals and start promoting your personal brand – perhaps as a side business to start.”
“However,” she adds, “if you are already a seasoned freelancer who has experienced the crests and troughs of this pandemic you should be ready to seize those business opportunities that require flexible, innovative and cost-effective team support. The Freelance Informer will be there to support the enhancement of your career and work-life balance through sector news, insights and inspiring freelancer stories.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Freelance Informer was first created by IT contractor, Richard Bunning, in 1984. The IT contractor publication was then acquired in 1988 by the Reed Group.
- Under new ownership and direction, yet keeping the original masthead logo, today’s re-launch of the freelance news and careers site will provide wider sector coverage and content to represent the diverse talent of project-based, gig and portfolio freelancers.
- According to research carried out in part by Andrew Burke, Chair of Business Studies and Dean at Trinity Business School, Dublin, project-based freelancers working on individual projects such as new product development, innovation and infrastructure account for 73 per cent – or £104 billion – of the UK’s £140-145 billion economic output of highly skilled freelancers. Gig-based freelancers, by contrast, account for just 14 per cent, or £20 billion, of this amount. The rest is made up by “portfolio” freelancers who do a variety of different kinds of work including both small gigs and larger projects. Burke’s other research highlights that a flexible workforce is a key ingredient to having an entrepreneurial economy. Furthermore, it indicates that orthodox research and public policy perspectives which overlook the importance of freelance independent contractors for entrepreneurship activity require a re-appraisal.
- The Freelance Informer’s content coverage will initially span across sectors including tech, construction, health, creative, professional services, education, freelancer finance and lifestyle. A weekly newsletter is also available.
- To get your ‘real-life’ freelancer story or company potentially profiled, contact the editorial team on firstname.lastname@example.org. For all press enquiries and press release submissions, please email at email@example.com or BuzzVestor Media on firstname.lastname@example.org
 The Freelance Project and Gig Economies of the 21st Century, Andrew E. Burke Dean & Professor of Trinity Business School, Trinity College, Dublin & Chairperson of the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE), London