Earlier this month FrontFundr caught up with Anya Switzer, charismatic CEO and Co-Founder of Livelii, an online platform that helps Canadian freelancers get health & dental coverage, paid vacation and sick days.
As an entrepreneur Anya has a proven and impressive track record of success across building and scaling business operations, while also increasing margin. And as a mother of 2 she has a proven track record of success across building and scaling small humans to share her passion, and scrappiness - the latter to her detriment. Read on to find out more!
Where did Livelii begin?
Our journey began 10 years ago when Adam and I founded Canada’s first freelance forward communications agency. As entrepreneurs, and working alongside freelancers, we recognized the challenges that come along with going it alone.
We live in a world that is designed for the traditionally employed when it comes to accessing support, services and products that intersect business and livelihood, particularly in the insurance and financial services verticals. There was a role to be played in advocating for what will soon be 50% of our available workforce, and voids to be filled through technology that reflect the nature of their work. That’s the challenge we took on with Livelii.
How has the pandemic affected things?
The pandemic has taught a lot of businesses and independents the working world we knew is no longer. The rise of the freelancer began on the coattails of the last recession - we are arguably navigating a similar situation currently with many dynamics to consider that have affected both business structures and demands on individuals.
Pre-COVID-19 we were anticipating that independent workers were going to account for a majority of the available workforce within the next 5 years - we now anticipate that we will reach that number much sooner. Health, financial literacy, and planning for the unknown has never been more top of mind and Livelii is poised to solve those challenges for those embracing independence, and those who have been challenged with accessibility.
What do you see as Livelii’s best opportunity for success?
Our success will be driven by our people and our purpose. We are a platform serving other platforms that builds value for our community and our partners that’s grounded in data and driven by insight. We empower the independent workforce and the resonance we’ve created by simply seeing them how they see themselves is what connects us to our target audience. This is our bread and butter, and it started long before Livelii was born.
We connect what has traditionally been a siloed profession and lifestyle to our community where they are championed. Our advocacy puts us on the leading edge as leaders for a massive market.
What’s your favourite quote about entrepreneurship, and why?
It’s not so much a quote, but a book - It’s not what you sell, it’s what you stand for. It is about how greatness is achieved by companies pursuing purpose - and how making money is commonly the result of this guiding principle.
This book was given to me by one of my former CEOs and has stuck with me throughout my career and has largely been an inspiration for my efforts with Livelii. It makes the big decisions that much easier to make, and defines the path forward when it gets cluttered with distractions.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I am from a small town in Northern ON called Wawa - the town so nice they named it twice. And yes, chances are I know the one other person you do from Wawa. If you don’t know anyone yet - welcome to the club!
I grew up as a second generation Canadian in a community of 3,000 where resilience and resourcefulness was key. I have long been a supporter of small business and independent work as I understand that it is vital for economic diversity and prosperity and that collectively we are always stronger. I recently moved back to Wawa to provide my family with the same small town foundation that will foster their abilities to dream big.
Livelii’s raise is now live on FrontFundr, head on over to their campaign page for more information!