LYTTLE...anybodycan start an onlinebusiness veryquickly and canjump in the digitalspace

The future is digital,” so said Alicia Lyttle, CEO of Pow Social and Internet Income, who believes that the novel coronavirus pandemic has presented opportunities for Jamaicans to become digital entrepreneurs.

With over 20 years of experience in e-commerce and digital marketing, Lyttle said the onset of the pandemic has “catapulted” demand for digital freelancing services more than she has ever seen before.

“Because what the pandemic has done, it has pushed everyone into acknowledging that the digital space is the place to be. Look at what has happened: Offices have closed down and everybody's working online. Now everyone's trying to figure out how to operate in the digital space better, and companies are looking for people who are in the digital space and get things done,” she told Jamaica Observer.

Lyttle's comments come against the backdrop of “The Great Resignation”, a trend where people are leaving especially low-paying jobs as they demand better pay, better working conditions, and upward mobility. In the United States, the industries affected include hospitality and retail.

In November last year Gillian Corrodus, divisional director of industrial and allied services in Ministry of Labour and Social Security, alerted the country's Parliament to spread of The Great Resignation to Jamaica. And, more recently, president of the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) Gloria Henry told the Observer that business process outsourcing companies were having a hard time filling advertised positions.

As companies turn to the Internet in search for people who can work remotely, Lyttle pointed out that individuals who have been laid off or made redundant during the pandemic as well as recent university graduates are also doing the same — turning to the Internet to find jobs online.

Among the areas where there is a growing demand for online services are graphics, writing, music creation and mixing, public relations, teaching, and even counselling.

With this in mind, Lyttle believes Jamaicans, especially youth, should “leverage the times that we're in today and take advantage of the digital economy.

“Never has there been a time that I've seen such a need for youth to really get involved and understand the digital space, because today, with technology the way it is. and with the resources that are out there, anybody can start an online business very quickly and can jump in the digital space. But we have to get educated about it,” she stated.

Through her company Internet Income, Lyttle has helped individuals to understand how to monetise their skills through online businesses. She added that if others knew how to turn their passions and hobbies into online “they could focus their time on making US dollars.

“So my goal is to help them see that they already have within themselves what they need to be successful, and then also helping them to learn new skills and the possibilities for them are endless,” the Internet Income founder said.

Given the exigencies of the pandemic, Lyttle also argues that people who work in traditional jobs should also consider the digital space to earn from multiple streams of income and upskill themselves.

“If you're working a traditional job you need to upgrade your skill level and provide your employer with someone who is more knowledgeable in that digital space. You need to always be learning to up your own value for your career” she said.

“And for those who want a side hustle, there has never been a more eye-opening time to the fact that you need multiple streams of income than the times the pandemic has put us into,” Lyttle encouraged.

BY JOSIMAR SCOTT Senior business reporter josimars@jamaicaobserver.com

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