By Angela Long
Freelance Business Week, a national week dedicated to freelancers, is coming to the Nation’s Capital from April 18th to the 22nd! On the heels of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Freelance Business Week DC (also known as #FBWDC) is similar in spirit to Small Business Saturday in that it seeks to raise awareness and garner support for this small, but very important part of our local economy. Freelance Business Week started in 2019 in Austin, Texas, and has expanded to include eight cities this year, including the DMV.
Freelance is a viable option to make a living
As a growing force across multiple industries, freelancing is proving to be a viable option for making a living. 59 million Americans, equal to 36% of the population, freelance. This number hasn’t changed much, but according to Upworks Freelance Forward: 2021 study, this past year saw a drop in temporary workers and an increase in skilled freelancing. Experts estimate that by 2027, the majority of the workforce in the United States will be freelancers.
Closer to home, freelancers/micro-enterprises and small businesses play a key role in the local economy. The self-employed sector is roughly 10% of all workers in DC, but is so vital, particularly the creative sector, that the District has fostered multiple initiatives over the years to support it. It’s not just the creative freelancers that are taking over; Flex is a newly formed industry association to support those who work in the app-based economy; think Uber, DoorDash and the like. The federal government itself uses a large contingent of freelance workers, which has a big impact given it’s Washington metro area’s largest single employer.
Inaugural celebration of #FBWDC
With a bright future ahead for freelance, it’s fitting that it has a week dedicated to it. For its inaugural celebration in the DMV, #FBWDC is hosting three events to gather the local freelance community and to help build support.
The week kicks off on Monday, April 18, with a panel of local leaders with ties to freelancing. It’s followed by lunch and an Open House that provides co-working, networking and an opportunity to get professional headshots.
The event on Wednesday, April 20, focuses on government contracting. Attendees will learn about the federal bid process, 8-A certifications, disadvantage business certifications and the procurement process with government integrators. It concludes with a networking mixer.
The local celebration wraps up with a “Freelancing in DC” Fireside Chat and a happy hour on Thursday, April 21. Local freelance creators share lessons learned in the DMV and business best practices. It will be followed by a catered happy hour.
Who we are
The City Organizer of the DC events is Angela Long, Marketing Strategist & Managing Director of Brand Wagon Digital, a content and community strategy agency based in DC. “When I found out that most freelancers are missing a strong community and chances to collaborate, I jumped at the opportunity to help to build out the community here in the DMV.” In addition to Long, the organizing team includes Emily Stringer, Manager, Executive Advisory Services at MBO, and Mónica Malavé, Marketing Strategist and CEO of Elevate It Now®, an award-winning marketing agency in Northern Virginia.
Learn more about Freelance Business Week DC and get your tickets here: FreelanceDMV – Join the Movement!