Youth entrepreneurship, startup culture, and grad unemployment are issues that Global Halifax is passionate about, as multiple segments have aired recently including a feature on Alex MacLean from East Coast Lifestyle (Evening News – October 27, 2014), Small Business Week (Morning News – October 20, 2014), and Youth Employability Project (Morning News – October 27, 2014).

So what is Swapskis and how does it help?

It is the world’s first online skills marketplace where time, not cash, is the currency.

Swapskis is a local, female-focused networking app that lets members swap services to:

  • Start or grow a businesses
  • Get “real-world” experience
  • Access the services they need


We all know there is a serious youth unemployment / underemployment problem in Nova Scotia. And Volta-housed, Nova Scotia grown Swapskis is part of the solution.

By using time, not cash, as the currency, Swapskis makes entrepreneurship and freelancing significantly more accessible and realistic for Halifax-based students and recent grads. The goal is simple – empower and connect women so they can take things into their own hands to gain the experience they need to vie for local jobs, become successful freelancers, or build their own businesses.

Since the beta launched in HRM less than a week ago, Swapskis has received great early traction with over 400+ users and $20k in swappable services.

 Quick Facts:

  • Almost 20% of Nova Scotian youth are unemployed (Now or Never Report).
  • About 15% of grads in Halifax are still unemployed two years after graduation (Study cited by Global Halifax, Youth Employability Project segment, October 27th, 2014).
  • 53% of new grads are unemployed/underemployed (The Atlantic).

Average cost to start a business is $30,000 with $5,000 in service charges. 51% of failed small businesses cite cash flow as the cause of failure.

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