Case Study: Unilancr

Unilancr is a new freelance platform where university students and recent graduates can collaborate with employers on a flexible basis. It is the first student-only freelance platform in the UK and it aims to create a “melting pot” for students and employers to collaborate on a mutually beneficial basis. 

For students: 

  • Unilancr allows students to utilise their academic and commercial skills gained from their university studies. Students can create a profile, and search and apply to jobs all for free.
  • Students can benefit from a flexible working environment and choose when they work to suit their varying timetable.
  • As the students can work with different employers, they can expand their network and gain contacts for future job prospects.
  • With an increasingly competitive job market, Unilancr allows students to build their CV and gain meaningful work experience long before they graduate.

For employers: 

  • Unilancr connects employers to a previously untapped, local, freelance talent pool of highly skilled local students. It is free for employers to sign up, post a job, and search through student profiles.
  • Traditional freelance acquisition is often expensive. However, students offer more cost effective talent for employers, without missing out on securing a highly skilled freelancer.
  • Employers are able to source talent across an array of disciplines. This could be anything from having a website developed, an app designed, a social media campaign planned or a language translated – and anything in between.
  • The platform curates the work and protects both employers and student freelancers when working on a project. It allows both parties to discuss the the project and enables tasks to be placed into agreed milestones. Money is also protected in a secure escrow wallet through Stripe, and only is paid out once both parties agree the work has been complete.

Unilancr launched in November 2020 and now has over 300 students signed up to offer their skills to employers on a freelance basis. The platform also includes recent graduates to support them during the currently challenging jobs market. The platform is currently only available in York while it is in its ‘testing’ period. 

Co-founder, Niall Clowes, said:

“Unilancr is in its early stages and on track to hopefully become something great for students and employers. As a graduate of the University of York, who first thought of the idea to make a student freelance platform whilst studying for my degree, I think York is the perfect place to begin. We have two great universities in the city and thousands of amazing employers that could benefit from accessing skilled and cost-effective local talent. Our mission is to empower students and to enable employers here in York.”

Employers can post short-term, long-term, one-off or reoccurring  jobs on the platform, which students are able to view and submit a brief proposal to. Employers can also invite specific students to apply for the job if they have found a particular student they are interested in working with. It is completely free for students and employers to sign up, and to post, search and apply to jobs.

The idea for the platform was first developed three years ago. That’s when Niall approached Make It York. The Make It York’s business team helped Niall by directing him to available business workshops, networking events, and introduced him to businesses in the same sector. 

Niall adds:

“I came to Make It York with an idea I was passionate about and believed it could be developed into something viable. The Make It York business team have helped provide information on the best practices of starting up new business. They also have contacts within the majority of York’s businesses, which was very helpful for us in the early stages of developing the platform.” 

Unilancr is an inclusive platform that aims to establish itself and expand in York. The company is looking to get more employers in York on board and reinforce that “students are an incredibly talented and viable source of support for local businesses” now and always. 

To find out more about Unilancr visit their website www.unilancr.com