As the number of people freelancing, contracting and starting solo businesses increases, so too do the opportunities to help them. Read the full article by Elaine Pofeldt published on Forbes here.

Starting a business, even a one-person shop, comes with financial risk. But does “the system”—government, banks, healthcare companies and other institutions—add to the hazards, by making life unduly hard for the self-employed?

“One of the best ways to grow a freelance business is by teaming up with other independent workers, so you can go after bigger and more complex projects.”

That question—once rarely asked by anyone other than freelancers themselves—is starting to come up more and more, as the number of people running solo businesses rises. This uptick is fostering both activism and innovation by organizations that see opportunity in addressing the major pain points for free agents. These players are taking on some of the biggest challenges that send people back to the world of traditional jobs: difficulty accessing affordable healthcare, maintaining a stable income, getting paid on time and keeping up with obligations like paying taxes.

Leaders are starting to notice there is not only a big untapped constituency in the freelance population but plenty of money to be made by making life easier for them. Here are some new developments that are worth keeping an eye on if you’re self-employed or interested in this market:

Curated communities take root: One of the best ways to grow a freelance business is by teaming up with other independent workers, so you can go after bigger and more complex projects. But that approach can backfire if you don’t screen the other freelancers carefully.

Communo, a by-application-only marketing and creative agency and coworking provider that launched in January, has focused on making it easier to find like-minded, serious professionals in its industry. Solo entrepreneurs who make it through the application and vetting process pay $200 a month to belong to the community.

When we spoke recently, CEO and co-founder Ryan Gill, formerly co-founder of the agency Cult Collective, said the curated community had grown to 300 members and is on pace to hit 1,000 by year’s end. “People don’t want to work a 9-to-five job anymore,” says Gill.

Gill says he’s raised $1 million to start Communo and is now embarking on a Series A round of financing.

Elaine Pofeldt is author of The Million-Dollar, One Person Business (Random House, January 2, 2018), a book looking at how to break $1M in revenue in a business staffed only by the owners.

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