New SA tech startup disrupts tradesmen employment landscape

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Umwuga, a South African tech startup has created a social network that allows employers to source and hire trade and service workers.

Umwuga is the new LinkedIn for trade and service workers

The innovative startup has labelled themselves the ‘LinkedIn’ for nannies, builders, hairstylists, farmers, and more. Offering a free and easy-to-use platform, employers are able to source reputable tradespeople and service workers. In a symbiotic relationship, the startup offers employment opportunities for those in either the field of trade or services.

An innovative solution

Founded in October 2020 by Nasi Rwigema, the completely bootstrapped startup officially launched in December 2020. Umwuga provides users with access to safe, reliable, and qualified tradesmen or service workers, such as electricians, plumbers, gardeners, and more.

Although Google may be at our fingertips, sourcing reliable and vetted tradesmen for a service can be difficult and the local startup aims to solve this with its unique platform.

In an interview with Ventureburn, Rwigema explains that the platform enhances the reputation of the available service and tradespeople.

“Umwuga amplifies word of mouth across every member’s network to connect workers with better employers and employers with better workers, quickly and easily.”

https://www.facebook.com/umwugadotcom/photos/183663033210087
Umwuga, Facebook

How does it work

With a number of listed services and tradespeople on the platform, users are able to easily access a required service through the search optimisation tool. The search results produced are geographically located to ensure that it is nearby for the user.

Users are able to add the service and tradesmen to their ‘network’ and engage with them via the platform to gather more information about their services. Each listed service is accompanied by detailed reviews, recommendations from past users or employers, and a reputation score for each of their best characteristics.

The clear and transparent information on each service provider allows users to make a concrete and accurate decision.

Rwigema explains that the startup aims to expand its current offering across the country.

“Our launch focus is on cleaners and handymen/women in Johannesburg. We have plans to expand rapidly through the leading emerging markets and across all trades. All in all, our addressable market today is 1.4 billion people which we expect to double as internet access continues to skyrocket.”

Workers first

Umwuga functions as a ‘worker-first platform’ as tradespeople listed on the platform are not charged a hiring fee. This system ensures that service workers and tradespeople are able to secure 100% of their profits earned from each job opportunity.

Rwigema provides insight into how the startup maintains its revenue.

‘”We simply earn revenue through optional subscriptions on advanced features like scheduling tools and value-added products like insurance for people who need them.”

Read more: Local tech startup launches platform to assist businesses 
Read more: Bottles officially launches with Pick n Pay

Featured image: Annie Gray via Unsplash 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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