Freelancers make up 34% of the U.S. workforce, and that number is expected to grow to 40% by 2020. How can freelancers come together, harness their collective power, create economies of scale, and ensure reliable livelihoods? Here’s one answer: Form freelancer-owned cooperatives! Such cooperatives can serve as platforms to help freelancers find clients, to provide insurance and other services to freelancers, and to advocate for policies that stabilize the freelancer economy.
Here’s one example of a freelancer-owned cooperative: Loconomics
With the growth of companies like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Task Rabbit, and other platforms to facilitate peer-to-peer enterprise, there is growing interest in the potential of cooperatives to provide similar services, and to do so with a specific eye toward creating stable and rewarding livelihoods for freelancers. Read The Sharing Economy Just Got Real, by Janelle Orsi, for a perspective on the role of cooperatives in the “sharing economy” or “gig economy.”