New Website Helps the Unemployed Become Entrepreneurs

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Increasing unemployment rates have left many professionals looking for work. At the same time, social networking has grown rapidly with a large number of people now posting their information and photos online for the world to see. One new website, http://www.prodepot.com, is applying the social networking phenomenon in a business friendly way to help unemployed professionals maintain some level of revenue by creating their own business. The site offers a free webpage to anyone who wishes to post their resume, headshot, photos, rates and availability.

Example shelfspace webpage on Pro Depot

We tried to create a situation where no one had to pay until a positive outcome had been reached. The business doesn't have to pay to view and the professional doesn't have to pay to be listed.

A new website, http://www.prodepot.com helps the unemployed become entrepreneurs by giving them a free marketing webpage. With many parts of the country experiencing double digit unemployment, a large number of professionals are now in need of work. Prodepot.com helps these professionals by offering a user friendly website that allows them to download their resume, photos, rates and availability by simply attaching their photos and pasting their information into text boxes. The site then creates a standard webpage from the information, a process that is easy even for the computer novice. After being open only a short time, the site has more than 60 professional pages. According to Pro Depot founder, Dr. Kelly Hurt, "People are responding to our offer of help. If necessity is the mother of all invention, then unemployment is the mother of all reinvention. These times dictate that individuals look beyond how they once perceived themselves as hourly employees and think in terms of marketing their skills to survive and perhaps even thrive with the changes that we are now seeing."

The idea for the site developed from Dr. Hurt's experience with running his own consulting practice. As his practice grew, he found himself needing help to meet project timelines. Not feeling comfortable committing to employees because of the small size of his business, he turned to friends and colleagues to help him meet his deadlines. "I quickly found that many people were excited about doing additional work outside of their job. Over time, I saw my group of helpers grow with each additional project that I landed. It was then that I decided to try to do something on a larger scale." Dr. Hurt officially unveiled the site in August 2008 to his friends and family. Since that time the company has been busy "stocking the shelves" with pros and conducting small projects for trusted clients.
During the conception and initial deployment of the site, the driving factor was the shortage of professionals. Today, the driving factor is the shortage of jobs. "Although people are losing their jobs, there is still work to be done. In some cases, it is in another state or region, but many professional services can be provided remotely using the web and email. Prodepot.com allows people to gain visibility across the country without having to constantly relocate to try to find jobs."

Although the current job situation is difficult, it may be pointing to a divergence from past work practices in this country. Rising costs of benefit packages are causing more employers to seek out contract employees. In addition, looming shortfalls in retirement funding for municipal, state and federal government workers will likely make government employers seek alternatives to committing to a full time person. However, it isn't all bad. The retirement of the Baby Boomer generation will result in a decrease in full time workers since trailing generations are not as large. Consequently, those who figure out how to create their own You, Inc. during this downtime may very well be setting themselves up for a great run in the near future.
Businesses who wish to use the site can simply go to http://www.prodepot.com and click on "Looking for a Pro?" This will take them to a directory of professionals that they can view without registration or payment. Professionals wishing to join the site will also go to http://www.prodepot.com and click on "Are You a Pro?" Then, they can click "Join for Free" and enter their information.

The site operates by adding an administrative fee to each professional's hourly rate. Prodepot.com also conducts the monthly invoicing so that companies can use as many professionals as they like and only receive one invoice. "We tried to create a situation where no one had to pay until a positive outcome had been reached. The business doesn't have to pay to view and the professional doesn't have to pay to be listed."

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Dr. Kelly Hurt or visit http://www.prodepot.com.

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