Digital gig platforms are on the rise globally, connecting millions of independent workers to expanded markets. But research indicates – and the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted – that such platforms have done little to alleviate risks fundamental to the informal economy, including income volatility and lack of bargaining power for workers. And since platforms require digital capabilities, they may even exacerbate inequalities – often based on gender, class, and geography – that characterize many offline labor markets.
This blog series shares findings from CGAP’s work on youth and the gig economy, with a special focus on young women workers in Africa. We will explore what the gig economy means for the livelihoods and resilience of these workers, how tailored financial services could help them access and maximize the potential of gig work, and what it will take to make such services available to more people.