Addressing administrative hurdles for freelancers
What’s the problem?
A growing number of educated, creative people in Zagreb (Croatia) works on starting their own business in upcoming fields like design and IT. However, there is no support for these freelancers or small business owners in the city, since these professions are relatively new in Croatia and their support is not a policy priority.
What’s the solution?
Many of the entrepreneurs run into bureaucratic problems when trying to set up and professionalise their business. Bureaucratic Compass sets out to develop a unique platform for freelancers in Croatia in the form of a mobile and desktop application, with which freelancers can navigate the bureaucratic landscape. The platform offers quality information, know-how and tips from other freelancers about doing business in accordance with the local laws and regulations. It features information about copyright laws, authors’ contracts, FAQs as well as pricelists for services, a price calculator, a deposit slips generator, templates of contracts, the list of professional associations and lawyers/law offices, and a forum for website users. An additional element is the so-called “wall of shame” containing the names of clients who are problematic when it comes to payments.
- Online platform
- Information delivery
- IT, media, design
- Laws & regulations
- Entrepreneurs & freelancers (creative, media & tech industry)
- Professional associations (Croatian Designers Association, Croatian Association of Artists)
- Public sector
- To create and offer a step-by-step navigator for the Croatian administrative system for freelancers
- In this first step, to help authors know their rights and obligations, making the best choices for their business, contract and be contracted in accordance with the Croatian laws and regulations, link them to sources of information
- To connect creative professionals and freelancers to share their experiences
How is the solution innovative within the local context?
There are different websites and physical places where Croatian freelancers from all sectors can find the information they need to run their business, However, there is no common place, online platform or website for them where they could access all the needed and accurate, regularly updated information or directions (“how to”) in a simple, clear, painless, and time efficient manner.
After the website is functional, the team intends to work on self-funding through app-relevant ads (notary offices, law firms, etc.). The team has identified several parties that might be interested in participating and supporting the website’s development and maintenance. Also, lawyers will be able to directly connect with authors through the website and should be willing to pay a fee for it. The website can be accessed as visitor or as registered user, with differentiated access to information and services. Registered users would have their own accounts with some options not accessible to others, such as saving their settings and contracts. A premium option with additional services is thought of. Another idea was related to the website’s self-sustainability: for a certain amount of time, the users could use the website free of charge, but after that time they would be asked to make a donation or else the content of the website would be blocked. The group member believe that the website users will recognise the benefits of the website once they start using it.
Stage of development
- Developing website Authors’ Contracts and Contracting for first stage: services related specifically to the segment of freelancers’ contracts and contracting
- Organising a hackathon with an open call (IT experts, legal experts, etc.) for creating the website
- Developing a project proposals for different possible funders, which includes also the development of some additional perks of the website
- Next up: Implementation and testing; monitoring, evaluation, tuning and upgrading & adding new segments and services in the future
This innovation was developed during a co-creation process facilitated by CIPA and supported by the Social Innovation Community.