Service IT-platform available in several European countries
- Helpific Estonia
- Country of Implementation
- Central and Eastern Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“Thank you to the founders of this platform and to all my dear helpers. I received help to all my requests so far.” —Eva, a registered member and returning user of Helpific from Budapest, Hungary
People with disabilities face challenges when they try to establish an independent life in their community because they are often short of capital and relevant support.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Helpific was developed in 2014 at a social ‘hackathon event’ in Tallinn, Estonia, by developers, marketers, designers, people with disabilities, and social workers. The Helpific team consists of IT developers and designers from Estonia, Turkey, and Russia; social workers from Hungary and Estonia; and lawyers and disability activists from Estonia. Helpific is both a search platform and a market place, where offers of support are matched with the demand. After registration, people either post their need for help or their offer of support in such areas as personal assistance, transportation, and household tasks. The platform enables registrants to get directly in contact with each other and to agree on the time and details of the requested service. Postings for both the requests and offers are free, while service offers can be either free or paid, with approximately 41 per cent of all users preferring to pay for the services they receive. Even if they cannot pay the market rate, they are generally ready and willing to pay something, as the concept of receiving help for free is sometimes humiliating. In some cases, people with disabilities use their personal budget funds to pay for these services. In the summer of 2018, for example, Helpific had approximately 600 help requests and support offers posted.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Helpific relies on grants from private and public organizations. In the long term, however, it intends to reach sustainability by applying a 10 per cent commission on the income derived from the platform, such as from professional help services. Helpific Estonia has an international development strategy, supporting local professionals to launch the platform in their own country; and it provides training and a kick-off package that consists of coding instructions, design, and know-how. Every Helpific partner is continuously supported as members of the Helpific network but has the freedom to adapt the concept to local circumstances. In addition, Helpific plans to introduce a transportation app that will offer peer-to-peer solutions between small villages in remote areas. In 2018, Helpific started a pilot project in Croatia paid by service providers and municipalities, and it plans to launch in Romania by late 2018.