Helping Malaysian SMEs and Freelancers scale in the 2022 Digital Economy

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If 2020 was the year of the Global Pandemic, and 2021 was the year of The Great Resignation, 2022 is poised to be the year of The Great Reset where both employers and employees transition to a more agile digital work environment in the post-pandemic age that suits both their needs. Me.reka, the educational arm of Biji-Biji Initiative, will kick off The Great Reset by being the bridge in this digital transformation with the Me.reka Career Partner and Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur offerings.

The Me.reka Career Partner programme helps businesses evolve in the digital age by gaining access to a diverse group of talented gig professionals while the Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur programme prepares youths in an intensive course that shares in-demand digital skills to empower participants for holistic digital freelance work. Both programmes are free and aimed at upskilling businesses and youth alike in Malaysia to alleviate local unemployment and ensure a smooth transition into a digital-first work economy. 

Career Partners are able to engage these digital talents in needs-based flexi-hiring arrangements, allowing for lower overhead costs without compromising skilled hires. Engagement period can be from mere hours to a monthly retainer based on what the businesses are looking for and this network of freelancers will possess the skills to elevate their businesses in the digital age, ranging from graphic design, translation, content writing, web development, project management and many more. 

“In these unprecedented times, we believe the imagination, skill, and ambition of freelancers are more vital than ever. Hence, we’re excited to collaborate with the Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur programme to bridge the gap between freelancers and employers in Malaysia. Our goal is to help our local creative workforce achieve their greatest ambitions through our all-in-one portfolio, job opportunities and networking app. By transforming the way freelancers work and connect, we champion creativity and drive innovation—connecting freelancers with work opportunities across the region,” shared Shermaine Wong, CEO of Cult Creative, a networking platform that connects the creative community and is the latest Me.reka Career Partner.

A Snapshot of The Post-Pandemic Work Economy

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The consecutive lockdowns in the last two years forced businesses to accelerate their digitalisation and a 2020 survey by McKinsey & Company¹ reports an average 7-year fold digital adoption acceleration globally with the highest acceleration rate in Asia-Pacific. 

“Digitalisation is really important for us as an organisation because it helps us increase our impact and reach out to more people, that way more people know about our work and are able to support us and the communities we work with. As a small organisation, we lack the resources to employ individuals with digital skill sets on a long-term basis and the only way to access these services is by engaging freelancers,” said Lakhswin Muruga, Chief Operating Officer at Women of Will, a non-governmental organisation in Malaysia that empowers women through entrepreneurship who came on as a Me.reka Career Partner.

In Southeast Asia, the independent workforce in the gig economy has continued to grow from strength-to-strength. A 2019 Global Gig Economy Index by Payoneer highlights Philippines as the top ranked Southeast Asian country with freelancers while in Malaysia, the Department of Statistics Malaysia reports that as of the second quarter of 2021, the self-employed now make up the second largest group comprising 17% of the Malaysian workforce which consists of 15.21 million working adults.

Given the learnings of The Great Resignation, the workforce is now more inclined towards achieving a flexible and sustainable work-life balance and a research paper by Mastercard, ‘Fueling the global gig economy confirms the growing shift with a projected $298 billion in global gig economy wage disbursements generated by 2023, an increase of 122% from 2018.

The future is freelance and as the trend continues, organisations must be ready to future-proof their business digitally by exploring new market prospects and scaling business efforts through hiring talent that emphasises quality of work rather than quantity of work hours. Likewise, digital gig workers must continue to upskill and stay abreast of industry trends given the increasingly competitive space. 

Me.reka Offers Holistic Solutions For Expansion of Gig Work Across The Workforce

Rashvin Pal Singh, Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka, says the team is doubling down on Malaysia and ASEAN’s Digital Transformation, citing it as the key to achieve business, creative and social impact moving forward in the 21st century. “Me.reka is committed to developing the growth of local and regional SMEs through easy to implement digital technologies and strategies that empower access to digital and readily available talent in enabling capacity to scale within an uncertain economic climate.” 

To further ensure an integrated relationship between job seekers and providers, Me.reka hosts mentorship sessions and workshops that bring Career Partners and Digital Entrepreneur graduates together. On 21st December 2021, a Virtual Open Day was held enabling Digital Entrepreneur graduates to speak directly to Career Partners including GoGet and Nilai University to apply for their available job opportunities.

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“Through the program with Me.reka, we hired two interns and they helped us launch our digital store. This included looking at what kind of products and services we offer and how we can present that on our website for consumers to purchase. The freelancers played a huge role in getting us out of our comfort zone and looking at what opportunities we had in front of ourselves,” adds Muruga of Women of Will who with the help of Digital Entrepreneur graduates created an e-commerce platform to sell goods from their community.

Sign up now and join 80 other businesses who enjoy access to a network of flexible, dynamic and digital-ready talent: https://merekahq.typeform.com/to/DwSVcF8U  


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