NGD unveiled its on-demand freelance creative platform – YouDesign to the tech community for the first time at the Lagos Tech Expo 2023.
Since its prototype was announced at the NGDX event in Lagos, the team has been hard at the Labs with development features to ensure the product is capable of being the marketplace that brings freelance graphic designers and project owners together in a symbiotic manner, solving the creative needs of millions of SMEs in Nigeria by creating value for their businesses while providing designers with income opportunities doing what they do best.
Youdesign is a digital ecosystem and marketplace that matches creative artists to various project owners across Africa, through a social rating system that facilitates mutual respect, ethical practice and professionalism.
It bridges the information asymmetry by showcasing budding artists with great talents whilst also affording project owners and corporate community the opportunity to hire the best creative vendors through a seamless engagement. It bridges the distance factor, cultural and size hurdles and affordability barriers, as it democratises access to professional creatives.
Youdesign gives equal visibility to all prequalified artists to bid for a project, thus enhancing quality assurance and cost efficiency. The platform is accessible to artists seeking freelance and contractual opportunities. Likewise, entrepreneurs, media agencies as well as marketing and brand executives can access creative services in a well-coordinated and effective manner.
The platform currently holds over 2,000 creative artists, ready to be hired with befitting portfolios of live and completed projects. At the Expo, Youdesign was well received by attendees, as creative artists and project owners experienced the platform first-hand.
Laolu Obende, Co-Founder of YouDesign believes YouDesign is the next revolution in the industry, as it empowers young creative artists to grow faster than ever in an entrepreneurial manner that aligns with emerging trend of socio-economic freedom that these youths want.
Laolu said, “we want young artists to be entrepreneurs, with freedom for them to take full control of their own career, in a way that allows them to earn income relevant for having a good life in a free work-life integration model that allows them to devote time to other lifestyles they may have passion for. We want artists to have the liberty to further their education in any discipline without having to forfeit their income source, a dilemma which stunted the career growth of many old artists. Every artist is a natural entrepreneur, and they should be able to dictate when and how they want to work, knowing when they are most productive. As an artist, I know how this feel. I do most of my paintings late at night or very early in the morning. Those are the times of the day when I am at my painting peak but that’s not the traditional business hours and that is why artists need freedom. It’s about getting the job done anyways.”
YouDesign creates a natural competition in the industry, as it showcases talents and jobs done, in a way that stimulates creativity of fellow artists and challenges everyone to push the frontier of creative designs. It offers a open competition of talent in a way that appropriately rewards participants.
It provides brand executives and media agencies access to an unrivalled pool of creative designers, helping to lower the cost whilst enhancing the quality of brands. Since the Demo conducted at the Lagos StartUp Expo, where the founders provided an opportunity to explore the platform, the ecosystem has seen phenomenal growth, with strong enrolment and traffic of both creative artists and brand executives. Interestingly, there is increasing prospect for creative artist export, as the ecosystem is gaining strong traction across the continent, with interest for hiring from Europe and the Americas.