LEARNING BRIEF | JULY 2020
Although half of the world is still offline, digital platforms are rapidly expanding access to opportunities for both small businesses and informal, non-salaried gig workers or iWorkers. However these platforms can also leave them vulnerable to inconsistent incomes, competition from bigger players and without access to benefits. These workers have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 crisis and are seeking ways of smoothing their cash flows, building resilience for uncertainty in the future and accessing a safety net that can help protect their families from financial shock.
This brief outlines opportunities for fintech startups to leverage digital platforms to create products and services that improve working conditions for and protect digital workers and expand opportunities for income generation. With regards to MSMEs, fintech startups are uniquely positioned to help digitize supply chains, enable mobile money agents and connect MSMEs to buyers via marketplaces. For gig workers, startups can help embed financial services in digital platforms and offer portable benefits to better empower this growing segment of workers/providers as e-commerce and digital platforms rapidly transform our economies.