Some have combined job sharing and agriculture, using shared labour to tackle the black market. Some have focused on technology, creating a platform for on-demand management of minority cultural heritage. And some use an app to provide micro-learning to migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Young startuppers are rife with ideas in times of crisis to facilitate entrance into the workforce, especially for the most vulnerable sectors of society. Here is a review of the most interesting ones.
Humus Job, the sharing economy applied to agriculture
An anthropologist, a psychologist and a farmer: they are the soul of Humus Job, an innovative startup with a social commitment established in March 2019 in Valle Grana (CN), after the acceleration path made in 2018 with SocialFare. Humus Job is Italy's first agricultural job sharing service: through the Network Contract formula and labour sharing, this service provides an incentive for small farms to hire staff with regular contracts. The network contract, they say, "is a beautiful idea which is still not very common, yet it is perfect for today because it meets a real need of companies with light sharing. We target small and medium-sized enterprises in agriculture and livestock breeding by proposing to hire labour with a contract that gives the possibility to second the worker to other companies in the network, thus saving money. We help with networking and training. And we also give the companies that hire regularly visibility by issuing an ethical work quality label, the '100% ethical work' label specifically for work in agriculture", explains CEO Claudio Naviglia, a 36-year-old anthropologist by profession. One year after launching the platform for matching job supply and demand, approximately five dozen companies and 2,300 workers registered, and after some thirty territorial networks had been set up, Humus Job officially presented a new option in March 2021: the Humus National Network Contract: "We realised that there was a need for something different: we created a single, Humus-led network. Companies adhere to a standard and benefit from services, starting with the administrative formalities for secondments and training."
We propose hiring a workforce under a regular contract, which opens up a possibility of posting workers to different companies in the network
With Kalatà! art is an adventure
Kalatà!, a pioneering social enterprise in the cultural sector. The company stands out in its sector "for applying project finance to cultural heritage, since the investments that enable our particular tours are all in our company and this is a revolution in the cultural heritage sector", says Nicola Facciotto, born in 1975, degree in musicology, CEO and founder of Kalatà!. The word 'experience' is the heart of it all, and the idea is to "shed new light on Italy's architectural treasures, imagining routes that stop speaking the language of insiders and open up surprising perspectives instead", such as: The visit they propose to the Sanctuary of Vicoforte is 60 metres high along the paths once used by the workers who frescoed its dome.
Revelia, the first national platform for on-demand management of minor cultural heritage, was born during a troubled pandemic-riddled year at Kalatà!. Visits are activated automatically once a minimum number of bookings have been made, thus saving the authorities the cost of retaining staff to keep an asset open every Saturday without any visitors, or even to keep it open all the time, yet with unqualified staff. Just select the desired dates and times from the available ones, indicating up to 3 options: the first appointment that reaches the minimum number of participants will be confirmed! Payment will only be made if the visit is confirmed.
Mygrants, a win-win in microlearning
Chris Richmond Nzi sports several nicknames to his credit, such as 'asylum seeker talent scout'. Born in 1985 in the Ivory Coast and raised by his adoptive parents in the United States and Europe, he holds a degree in international law and diplomacy and is a former Frontex official. He and his partner Aisha Coulibaly founded Mygrants in 2017 in Catania as a limited liability company listed in the innovative startup registry, which then became a B Corp in late 2020.
The app caters to migrants seeking international protection status and offers microlearning modules in three languages to strengthen, update and validate their skills, thus facilitating their entry into the labour market. "Migrants generate 10% of the world's GDP, yet we do not know them. Uncovering the talent in this population group works to everyone's advantage: the migrants themselves, companies, and also nations", says Richmond Nzi. Initially launched with €10,000, Mygrants is now a 14-person team handling 100,000 active users, 16,000 identified high-skilled profiles and 1,800 job postings. The company closed 2020 with a turnover of €250,000 and a capital increase of €600,000, which will help Richmond Nzi focus on internationalisation: "Nations need to identify talent wherever they are and ensure mobility for them. We aim to create 'intellectual corridors' for economic migrants, who are currently not protected by any international framework. There is a clear mismatch between Europe, which is the oldest continent in the world, and Africa, which is the youngest: a common ground is needed and this is a great opportunity".
Migrants generate 10% of the world's GDP. Discovering their talent benefits everyone: the migrants themselves, companies, and also nations
JoJolly, regular occasional contracts for restaurant and catering
The restaurant and catering industry has always had seasonal and on-call contracts. The situation is even more complicated in this year of continuous openings and closures. JoJolly is a platform created in Milan to combat undeclared work and tax evasion in the catering sector, through a proposal that encourages the stipulation of regular contracts also for occasional services. JoJolly automatically generates a regular occasional service contract, provides insurance cover, pays the worker 24 hours after the end of the service and also pays the withholding tax in their favour. In its first year, 425 employers and over 3,000 workers used the platform, which delivered 7,500 services. In January 2021, JoJolly completed the Foundamenta acceleration process. The app in founder Mattia Ferretti's project will especially benefit the most vulnerable workers such as students, unemployed young people and immigrants who are looking for income support or a first contact with the labour market.