The global economy needs to create five million jobs each month to absorb the one billion people that will enter the job market over the next decade. By creating a broad range of self-employment opportunities via online outsourcing and micro-entrepreneurship, the digital economy can help us reach this ambitious goal and overcome the short-term deficit of jobs.

Given their relative tech-savviness, youth are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of self-employment opportunities available online, and even mix and match jobs to build a sustainable and flexible career. Online platforms can also enable youth to build job readiness skills and broaden networks. Stronger job matching platforms, like Babajobs and Upwork, also help connect job seekers and employers.

Case study: Triip.me’s online platform connects locals with tourists. Founded in 2013 by Vietnamese entrepreneurs Ha Lam and Hai Ho and now available in 66 cities across many Asian countries, Triip.me enables locals to post curated tours for tourists that highlight art, food, or innovative enterprises.

Many Triip.me tours are offered by young people who are either between jobs, in school, or full-time freelancers. Triip.me enables young people to earn additional income, while equipping them with key skills such as customer orientation and entrepreneurialism – skills that are in demand across the labor market.