Michael Metcalfe, founder of job matching program Kynd. Photo courtesy Southern Cross University.
Struggling through Covid has proved an insurmountable challenge for many young start-up businesses. For Kynd, a service matching support workers to NDIS participants, it’s seen a new market suddenly spring up.
“There’s been a sudden and huge surge in demand from people who need support,” says Michael Metcalfe, Kynd’s founder. “We’ve been operating – starting small – since 2018 but job requests recently have been surging.”
Kynd’s Team on the Gold Coast
Metcalfe is keen to explain what his service does. “Kynd is,” he says, “a way for people to find and book the right NDIS support person. If you or a family member is living with a disability, Kynd helps you find the exact individual who’s gonna be right for your needs. We verify their credentials and match their skills to your requirements.”
“It’s been a tough market”, Metcalfe starts adds, but adds now that we seem to be emerging from the worst of Covid the situation is changing. “Recently we’ve been seeing huge spikes in demand.”
“This is part of an emerging space. We are creating not just a new business – a new name – but involved in the formation of a whole new market. We’re still looking to evolve.”
“Kynd is a financial service that offers a big social return.”
Metcalfe was driven to start Kynd because of his own need to find support workers to care for his mother.
“Mum had an injury at home”, Metcalfe says, “and that’s where it began. I was looking around at services and needed to know who I could trust. Who was flexible and who had the skills to respond to my need.”
Metcalfe realised what he needed – a matching service – didn’t exist. Because he had a background in ‘creating experiences’ in the travel industry he began thinking about what a business connecting workers to NDIS participants would look like, and the germ of an idea that would eventually become Kynd was born.
“What was needed was a means to match support workers to people to had specific needs”, Metcalfe adds, “and the internet is a perfect platform for this. There’s a huge demand out there. Now someone can easily put up an urgent job post or request and have it met by a worker who has verified credentials and skills. It’s a new future.”
What Metcalfe had realised is that the biggest difficulty is not just creating a bulletin board but adding confidence to the system: matching workers to participants and verifying credentials and skills. This adds value to the job-matching process in a very real way.
Kynd itself has been the recipient of an Advance Queensland grant as well as other encouragement to further develop the business which is creating the marketplace that the NDIS needs if it is to flourish.