SkillPatron.com is Set to Disrupt Africa’s Informal Labour Marketplace. | SkillPatron putting Young Africans back to work in a tough economy
SkillPatron.com founded by Jake Adebayo, who had earlier founded ESTREET TECHNOLOGIES a top-notch software development agency, announces its launch, aiming to ultimately drive the company’s vision of persuading more businesses into using SkillPatron as a viable option to break business activities into piecemeal tasks and reach many more workers, potentially affecting a far wider range of work for more unemployed; yet skillful African youth.
Increasingly touted as one of Africa’s hottest startups to watch in 2016, SkillPatron aims to tackle African unemployment by positioning itself the “go to” place for getting things done. — It does this by providing dedicated, Professional Assistants to busy professionals & local businesses.
From organizing fashion photography shoots to managing product descriptions for online shops to telemarketing & appointment setting – SkillPatron’s relationship-based model allows each client to build lasting connections with their dedicated assistant, or PA.
What that means is that the SkillPatron team allows professional, creative and talented African people to package their skills in the form of a product (called a Skill Bundle), a very well-defined product.
Then, the product goes onto the SkillPatron platform – or catalog – where customers (aka Patrons) can browse, search, and buy in a familiar e-commerce experience. The company was created on the belief that booking a service from a great local pro should be as easy as buying a phone online.
In very simple terms: SkillPatron is the African Amazon of skills & services. And its ultimate goal in simple terms is to reduce African employment search friction by almost 10% in 12 months.
If the Internet has made one thing crystal clear, it’s that physical borders and geographical distance are no longer necessarily an absolute barrier for conducting business.
Jake was an avid freelancer in the past and loved it. “I have been freelancing on several online freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru. I have always loved the concept of working from the comfort of my home. It gives me the freedom to choose my projects and make money at the same time. Being a freelancer myself, Fiverr appealed to me the most as it solves the problem of micro- projects at a very affordable price,” he says.
“Incidentally,, We’re living in an evolving African economy where 9 to 5 isn’t the obvious career choice for everyone. People working multiple jobs, work as contractors, consultants, work remotely, use outsourcing often, etc, and – we understood that. We realized that before SkillPatron, there wasn’t a central place for Skilled Africans who don’t necessarily see themselves as entrepreneurs to make money off their skills…Hence we plan to make it easier for people with skills to get found by people who need them; while at the same time minimizing the risks and stress involved with buyers dealing with “poorly done” or incomplete tasks.” Jake says.
In fact his plans are not merely to allow for university undergrads to make some extra pocket money. “Our focus is to bring thousands of service providers on-board – including retired professionals, rural youth, home makers, students, small businesses and women specifically who are stay-at-home moms with a longing to fulfill their urge to utilize their time efficiently. We also plan to work with employment bodies and institutions where there are talented people waiting for job vacancies or to earn some money in their free time”
SkillPatron’s unique relationship-based model provides transparency and protection for both the business and the worker.
“During our really extensive feasibility studies in the last six months of 2015, we were looking at this space and noticed that most of the labour marketplaces out there including Job/skill listing sites were essentially just big databases of skilled people…which seemed to be complicated and full of friction,” recalled Jake on being questioned about what makes SkillPatron unique.
“So we said, ‘Maybe this is an opportunity for us to create something that’s going to take away most of the friction and really allow us to think about it – not as a labour marketplace – but as something different’,” he continued
Access to a large, quality pool of local skilled contractors is especially powerful for busy professionals and small businesses with limited resources, and every day our clients (The Patrons) continue to validate the fact that local businesses are increasingly seeking very specific skills to fulfill casual tasks that’s difficult to find anywhere at unbelievable rates.
“On the buyers’ side, we plan to target startups and small businesses across the continent who can try a few SkillBundles at our site and if they like what they get, they will come back. Until now we have had repeat customers coming to the beta-site for more quality work,” shares Daisy Aigbanbee – CMO of SkillPatron.
While SkillPatron creates an Amazon-like network for tasks attracting photographers, telemarketers, models, fashion stylists, web developers, marketers, artists, graphic designers, singers, writers all looking to make a quick buck with their given skill sets; its team is also positioning SkillPatron as a go-to marketplace where people can go to outsource small jobs and tasks to other people in their neighborhood.
“So, if you need a plumbing fix, generator repair, a yard-cleaned or dry-cleaning picked up, you can post that job online, name the price you’re willing to pay and we’ll connect you with the dozens of background-checked experts that we have in your location within your budget.” Says Rachael Adaobi – Vice-president for publicity at SkillPatron.
At the moment SkillPatron is creating new life enhancing opportunities for a fast growing number of skilled African professionals that before SkillPatron, never existed or at least not (locally) and in one central place and not for free.
“As I frequently remind my team, at SkillPatron we serve a purpose that is grander than our own. We help people start businesses, we help them pursue their dream of financial independence, working flexibly in the way they prefer. We help them build their business from the ground up.” – Jake says.
Each expert has total control over their listed services. They can add new skill bundles, edit current skill bundle, repost services, suspend and activate jobs. Also they have a sales management panel, where they can see current active jobs, or completed and closed jobs. They can also track revenues and request to withdraw current cash balance directly to their bank accounts.
The idea is Utopian, and potentially empowering. But the system also allows for inherent problems- compromising on authenticity of services, scams and the like.
But Jake insists they are well prepared for such scenarios. “We work with our users closely. We monitor every action in terms of creating the service(s) to sending messages across. Our admin panel has functions to approve or reject any actions on the site. We make sure people don’t spam other users’ inbox or get in touch for other than business related topics. We also block problem users from our site,” he says.
“Cheap labor IS everywhere: Labor is even cheaper in Africa, but there’s a huge lack of trust in the society. That’s a pure culture difference. I think an internet platform is the perfect place to solve the trust issue when it comes to hiring an expert.” He continues.
SkillPatron serves as a platform to collect and distribute payments, so people that offer their services online or in person, know that they will get paid and people that are paying can’t back out on the initial contract. This trust system is further enhanced by feedbacks from buyers (aka Patrons) and sellers, so experts with better reviews will automatically establish a form of trust based on verified reviews by previous clients.
This will especially be useful in some typical African countries like Nigeria where the lack of trust and frauds are prevalent.
SkillPatron is also aiming for the greater developing world. Jake shares “It’s a real solution for developing markets, all countries with a similar GINI coefficient rate to that of Nigeria are the company’s target markets. Specifically, these include Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, India, Malaysia, as well as South America. Right now our focus is to build the community as fast as possible and demonstrate the value of the solution to the greater market. We are in discussions about geographic expansion but need to crawl before we can run”
“I think the biggest challenge is that we’ve gone from A to B and now we need to go from B to C; that’s the market entry part (further validating our concept and scaling up SkillPatron services to a significant size). We need to have that backbone first; great people, great product, great product market fit – which I think is there – and the next challenge is to find cost effective ways to really educate the big chunk of the Nigerian (and subsequently African) market that don’t even know about this new way of doing things.” – Daisy Explains.
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24 reviews on “SkillPatron”
DaintyX – D’Inspiration BoutiquePros
This is my third order with SkillPatron, and my biggest yet. They delivered superbly once again and within deadline. There was some delay in the middle, but SkillPatron worked immensely quick at the end whilst keeping up the quality, and updating me regularly. They are my go-to guys for product uploads!
Opeyemi David – DueCapitals.comPros
I absolutely love working with skillpatron! They have saved me hundreds of naira and headaches. I have more work for them and definitely recommend them. Their attention to detail is an excellent attribute that they have too which makes things easier to manage.
One of the things I will say is that the SkillPatron team is very responsive. They were quick to get the work done and added a unique and awesome flair to the products that I wouldn't have thought to do.
Emmanuel Imiruaye – MevDesigns.comPros
SkillPatron is the very best at adding jumia and konga products to your store. They are very quick and easy to communicate with. One of the best services I have ordered online!!!
411 Restaurant, VIPros
Excellent job on following directions. Consistent, alert, pays attention to detail and on top of the job as an assistant should be! A+
Kemi Ogunbona – KelauraKreations.comPros
My SkillPatron team always interprets my less-than-precise instructions into the perfect deliverable. Thank you SkillPatron!
Mrs. Love – SailClothiers.comPros
Great work on a project where they worked independently. I gave them general instructions and they figured exactly what I needed. They just get it. Highly recommended!
SkillPatron did a great job. Quick communication and insightful comments and suggestions. Outstanding Experience!
Tony Ajulo – ActNigeria.comPros
I had a kind of complicated job and I asked a few other people to do it but they were not capable. SkillPatron did great and understood my directions crystal clear, and their performance was great.
The SkillPatron team was the consummate professional - courteous, prompt, clear, and effective. We worked through difficulties with technology and a public holiday, but quickly got to a resolution. I recommend them highly and look forward to working with them again
Working with SkillPatron was my first experience with online services and it could not have been better!They were helpful, fast, and thier work is impeccable. Looking forward to booking them again!
Charles – Okolo – Matsasports.comPros
My SkillPatron crew is amazing! Very creative, exact, fast, super easy communication, understood my needs and always runs the extra mile!! Very happy and will work with the same team again for sure!! Thank you so much Amanda!! :)
Vivian Ifekwem – Kraccelerate.comPros
I gave the skillpatron team assigned to me a research project with a great deal of complexity. they handled it with considerable skill and insight. Very pleased.
CEO – JoerexSports.comPros
The services from skillpatron is EXCELLENT - BEYOND EXCELLENT. I could not be more pleased with service above and beyond my expectations. I definitely recommend!
Margaret Fashakin – UpperklassBoutique.comPros
Thanks for helping me get my todo lists in order today! I should have done this a long time ago.
Chisom Umeobi – E-Market.com.ngPros
Joan - I am going to leave you a 5 star review every time, great work, thank you so much!! More work to come
This was my first order with you and it was perfect. Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to doing more with you in the future.
CEO – Bamitale.comPros
Well done! Great worker will definitely come back, highly recommended. My asigned team was very diligent, you need them on your squad
Great professionalism, great follow through even after the work was marked complete. Jake goes above and beyond do not hesitate to order! Thanks!!!
Olamide – i4LShop.comPros
Thank you for making MY job easier. Thrilled to have all my to-do tasks completed for the year. Thanks for your quick response and turn around. Great experience
Adeola – TheWeightlossHub.comPros
The SkillPatron team assigned to me did an awesome job! Accomplished exactly what I desired and asked great questions to make sure they met (and exceeded) my expectations.
Absolutely outstanding! Followed instructions to the tee and with super fast turn around times. I will be hiring again and again. So happy to have the SkillPatron crew as part of my team!
There were some challenges, but met them all head on and got the job done--excellent work!
Phenomenal work and timely responses to everything that was needed. I look forward to using your service again soon! Thank you!