Robinhood Introduces National Freelancer Day and Contest
The well-known (albeit controversial) investment app Robinhood has introduced a new holiday. Last week, the FinTech announced National Freelancer Day. Although the United Kingdom has established a similar celebration for June 16th, Robinhood has designated March 10th for the United States’s honoring of freelance workers.
Although the first annual holiday itself has now passed, a contest accompanying the celebration is still accepting applications. This contest will see 500 freelancers being awarded $192 to their Robinhood account. That $192 figure is billed as “a full day’s work,” with the app pointing to a report that found the average freelancer makes $24 an hour — although the report states that this average is for men whereas the average female freelancer makes $22 an hour.
To enter, users can visit the National Freelancers Day site and send an email sharing what inspired them to become a freelancer. According to the terms, eligible submissions must come from e-mail addresses that are associated with a Robinhood Financial brokerage account. Additionally, the company notes that entries will be “judged based on it being inspirational or resonating with the National Freelancers Day message.” Submissions will be accepted through April 9th.
Robinhood’s introduction of National Freelancers Day is meant to promote its Robinhood Retirement platform, which officially launched last month. One of the key features of that offering is what the company calls IRA Match. When customers make contributions to their Traditional or Roth IRAs on the platform, Robinhood will reward them with a bonus equal to 1% of the deposit amount — somewhat akin to IRA matching benefits offered by many employers. However, contributions must come from an external source (meaning not from a Robinhood cash management or brokerage account) in order to be eligible. Additionally, if funds are removed from the account in less than five years, customers may be subject to a fee that partially or completely offsets the IRA Match bonus.
To launch the new holiday, Robinhood also partnered with Olamide Olowe, the founder of the inclusive beauty line Topicals. Speaking to why recognition for freelancers is needed, Olowe said, “The mindset of working in corporate America until you retire at 65 simply doesn’t work for my generation. Charting your own path allows you to have flexibility and professional freedom to pursue passion and purpose. But gig workers miss out on the financial benefits that often come with traditional employment, from workplace retirement plans with employer matches, to a paid day off.”
It’s easy to look at a “national holiday” created by a company to serve its own self-interest and be cynical about the whole thing. Yet, there have been previous instances of this that have led to a greater good. For example, look no further than Small Business Saturday, which was started by American Express but now helps drive American consumers to small retailers and restaurants each year. Therefore, in time, perhaps the origins of National Freelancer Day will be forgotten and the day can be beneficial to self-employed workers, gig workers, and others. In the meantime, those who qualify for Robinhood’s contest may want to submit before April 9th for a chance to win a few extra dollars.