The contribution of the self-employed to the national economy is not small. The nearly 3,300,000 self-employed registered in Spain represent 15% of gross domestic product (GDP). “A barbarism”, so the opinion of Xavier Capellades RamosCEO of Not me , a digital platform designed and geared specifically for freelancers and freelancers. Before bringing the solution to market, the promoters conducted a detailed study to identify the business opportunities and the capital evils faced by the self-employed. Capellades tells what the conclusions were.
Where are we going
A profound transformation of the labor market. The change is happening globally where in the digital age there is an uptick of workers who no longer want to develop their professional career in a single company but prefer to work independently in different business projects. This preference, which Nomo ascribes in particular to millennials and freelancers, is accompanied by a corporate policy that also opts for contracting on demand depending on projects and goals. As examples of this growing trend, they cite the United States and the United Kingdom, the latter country where there are studies that predict that by 2020 50% of the workforce will be self-employed. Likewise, according to the Ernst & Young (EY) 2016-23 Contingent Workforce Survey Study, one in two companies surveyed say they have increased hiring of freelance workers over the past five years. And the trend will continue, as 40% of companies expect to increase such hiring. However, the environment does not seem to be listening to the reality of the market and remains steadfast in the face of a changing reality.
You feel abandoned. But given the tilt indicated in the previous point, the environment remains immobile, oblivious to this changing reality. They not only talk about the legislation that accompanies the needs of this entrepreneurial modality, but also about the financial sector, the insurer, the corporate sector and society in general.
The three big types of problems
Regarding the main problems affecting this group, Xavier Capellades groups them into three categories:
management: In addition to specializing in a specific activity, the self-employed tackle an entrepreneurial facet that is unknown to many. Running a business, no matter how small, involves a certain level of complexity, which is why most turn to the services of an agency or a specialized professional. The average monthly expenses for this concept range from 30 to 100 euros, with the widest range being around 60 euros, a fixed expense on top of paying social security contributions and other taxes. As for the latter, quarterly VAT and income tax returns are usually the biggest headaches for the self-employed. In any case, and even without management, whatever the working day and in any business, the self-employed spend part of their free time arranging all the paperwork or issuing and checking the invoices, which usually increases your stress level.
Another problem they found at Nomo is a lack of habit of separating personal finances from those of the company, due in part to the irregularity of income. The result: In the end, they lose track of business accounts and experience nasty surprises in the treasury department. Sometimes they are not even aware of their average salary.
Faced with this scenario and as a business opportunity, they missed the existence of a holistic solution that would solve all accounting and management problems in a single tool. “There were solutions – says Capellades – but very fragmented and not very intuitive”.
Financially: When a company struggles to access bank credit or government grants, the situation is worse in the case of a self-employed person, as it is common to bring him in as an employee without specific products or lines of credit.
Social: But not only the banks live with their backs to the reality of the self-employed, they do toothe insurance companies They have forgotten this group among their greats even though they know few can fund future policies and plans or in the event of a possible sick leave. “You’re kind of in no man’s land,” says Capellades.
Another problem they claim to be observing in this group is that of isolation. More and more freelancers and freelancers are working from home, a situation that some may find interesting in principle, but if it lasts too long it can degenerate into a feeling of loneliness and helplessness when in reality there are more than 3 million people living in this situation divide.
The nome alternative
Given all the flaws pointed out, they say that in Nomo they conceived the solution that they brought to the market. Nomo is a digital platform “that brings together all the services and tools related to business management, tax and financial services for these professionals in one app”. The company was founded in November 2018 in InnoCells’ venture builder by Banco Sabadell “with the aim of addressing all self-employed and freelancers in Spain, regardless of which bank they are a customer of”.
In addition, they offer their community additional services through alliances with partners such as Raisin e iSalud.com. “Thanks to the alliance with Raisin, users have preferential access to savings products with better returns. In total, Nomo users have access to 65 savings products from 15 banks in 12 European countries. Also, in the app you can access the iSalud.com health insurance portfolio and the comparator, which can be taken out entirely online,” they affirm.
Regarding the problem of the socialization of the self-employed, the company ultimately intends to create a specific coworking space for this group, where they can work, interact and learn.
From launch until now, Nomo has managed to have 20,000 registered users on the platform, of which 6,000 are active, in a B2C business model. The aspiration is to increase the amount exponentially as they implement functionalities and become the benchmark solution for any type of freelancer.