Micro-manufacturing in the gig economy

Posted by citizenDecor on July 12th, 2019

There is so much talk these days about the gig economy and the implications it has on society. I’d like to look at it from a slightly different perspective, the perspective of microfinance. Microfinance historically has been a very successful strategy for lifting women out of poverty in third world countries. 

The fundamentals of microfinance basically break down into a few key assumptions. One, that women are more reliable and social. They hold each other accountable and are more likely to succeed together. Two, it enables these individuals not only to just feed their families but to do so in a meaningful and sustainable manner. Being independent and self employed has a host of benefits.

I find it fascinating to take some of the elements of microfinance and apply them to today’s gig economy. Most people think of driving uber or upworks outsourcing work or even grocery delivery services when they think of side jobs in this gig economy. These are all great but they are very male oriented jobs. There is this other cohort of people with completely different interests and ways of working. These people are women. 

One a heavily dominated women dominated area is home making and crafts. Ironically, the gig economy has infiltrated even this corner of society. People are making and selling small crafts and home goods as a way to make some side money. There are numerous facebook groups dedicated to women crafting together, sharing ideas and encouraging each other in this field.

Perhaps this is the modern day manifestation of microfinance applied to shift an entire gender cohort in a social economic demographic that has not seen much movement in the past couple of decades. 

I wrote this article on the most profitable cricut business on how to make money with the Cricut. For the topic genre, it was an instant hit. So many people are looking to make some side money in a way that is more in line with their interests. I’m not sure who loves delivering groceries or driving random people around in their car but I do know millions of women who love to craft. I can’t think of a more sustaining gig than to make some side money doing what you love.

If you are unfamiliar with the Cricut, it is a cutting machine that has taken over the crafting work. Not only do you not have to have any technical abilities, you don’t even really need artistic skills or vision for that matter. It comes with thousands of designed projects that you just have to “send to cut” with your machine. I personally can’t draw but it doesn’t matter, my machine can do it for me with someone else’s design. Beginner projects for the Cricut look like professional level art. It is addicting to use. 

The best part about the Cricut is really how professional looking the end results are. I make this rae dunn look alike pottery that looks exactly like the real thing. Except now, I can design it with whatever customizations I want and it costs about a quarter the price as the real thing. With the Cricut, we have now enabled a bunch of people who previously had no artistic or technical skills making profession grade products to sell in their local communities and across the country for that matter. This might be the new resurgence of manufacturing in America - the micro-manufacturing gig-economy. Wow, that is a mouthful.

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