Gig Wage Customer Spotlight: Socialwyze

Since the gig economy started making waves back in 2009, we have seen a rise in gig companies. Entrepreneurs are now acting upon more and more people maintaining multiple jobs. Society tends to highlight how people maintain multiple jobs as gig workers. Still, we never talk about how we can help uplift those in our society who have suffered through hardships looking for a hand-up — not a handout. Today, we want to showcase one of our favorite social entrepreneurs, Cody Merrill, Founder and CEO of Socialwyze. Socialwyze helps any person overcome any hardship (personal, financial, emotional, etc.) through work dignity. With the government and donors' help, Socialwyze can pay underemployed people to perform public work for their community to help them maintain housing and transition back into employment. We recently had the opportunity to interview Cody Merrill about why he decided to start Socialwyze and see what successes he has had so far launching in Dallas, TX.

A little about you:

GW: Introduce yourself and your business.

CM: I’m Cody Merrill, the founder, and CEO of Socialwyze, the mobile app that helps governments and donors pay underemployed individuals to perform public benefit work. I am a lifelong entrepreneur at heart who identified an amazing opportunity to help communities solve a social matching problem by pairing people who most need income with public benefit work that most needs to be completed. Our immediate transitional employment solution catches people financially when they need it while automatically building their digital resumes. Evictions, homelessness, and mass incarceration have no place in a rational world, and we are engaged in total war against them.

GW: What is your business’s mission?

CM: Our mission is to eradicate poverty through ubiquitous transitional gig work on public benefit projects. We help governments and donors manufacture Public Cost Avoidance and obtain superior Social ROI. Which major city in the world doesn’t have large numbers of people facing income insecurity and large amounts of public problems related to nutrition and the environment that need to be solved? We endeavor to take what we have started in Dallas and spread it globally.

GW: How did you decide to start your business?

CM: I decided to start Socialwyze because I found the status quo “solutions” to homelessness and unemployment entirely unacceptable. When most evictions occur for less than $1,000 of unpaid rent, and homelessness costs taxpayers $40,000 a year per person on average, somebody had to build a scalable solution to stop the madness. The arbitrage opportunity that arises at the point of personal insolvency is the most impactful and potentially lucrative opportunity I believe I will ever encounter.

GW: What key factors have led to your success?

CM: I am beyond all-in on the mission, and my team and supporters know that I will never give up. We are collectively building something much larger than any of us, and we are just lucky to be able to get paid to do what we love. Every member of our team has a calling, not a job. We are fiercely competitive yet deeply empathetic. With massive amounts of human suffering in the balance, the cost of failure is too high for us to bear.

GW: What advice do you have for businesses that employ contractors?

CM: Make sure that you seek quality legal counsel and push them to advise you on crafting your model to succeed long-term, given the current employment law trajectory. Also, get to know at least some of your users personally so that you can develop genuine empathy and make more informed product decisions.

GW: How has COVID-19 impacted or shifted your business?

CM: COVID-19 created greater awareness about the consequences of unemployment, which has helped us secure funding from Mark Cuban and appeal to a broader audience. It is a tragedy for humanity, but a small silver lining is a more empathetic public discourse regarding the economically insecure.

Your Thoughts on Us:

GW: What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our product?

CM: We needed the lowest-barrier, the most startup-friendly option to pay underbanked contractors. Gig Wage was the obvious choice on both fronts, and they are also located in Dallas!

GW: How does our product or service stand out from other options?

CM: Amazing and prompt customer service, reasonable pricing, simplicity. We searched numerous options before choosing Gig Wage, and the decision wasn’t even close. The amazing Gig Wage customer service we have experienced has been par for the course for the quality demonstrated throughout the rest of the business.

GW: What made you happiest about working with our company? What is your biggest success story?

CM: I’m thrilled to be working with Gig Wage because you understand the importance of our mission and have our backs the second we have a problem. You guys possess the creativity to find solutions for the most unique 1099 arrangements. Our biggest success was helping a phenomenal person, who was recently released from a 38-year prison sentence, enter back into society. Helping them connect with the digital age, get paid to perform meaningful work in their community, build a digital resume, and grow into better career opportunities.

Gig Wage is proud to have a company like Socialwyze using our platform to make a difference in their communities. Through Socialwyze, individuals experience up to 51% improved chances of landing full-time employment. To see how you can get involved with Socialwyze, visit the Socialwyze website or download the free Socialwyze app on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App StoreGigs are currently available in Dallas, and we are making plans for Austin, the Bay Area, Hawaii, and Oklahoma — click HERE to book your next gig.

Written by

Andrea Park