Ross Fenwick, 32, is one of the entrepreneurs behind the Handiman Customer App.
His project is also backed by the founder and co-CEO of the Arbolus tech-based venture capital firm – which has offices in London, New York and Barcelona.
The home services app, which will seek to link up local businesses providing household services in the borough, “will bring customers direct to service providers,” according to Mr Fenwick.
Handiman’s three main categories cover ‘home cleaning’, ‘home maintenance’ and ‘general tasks’. A service provider is selected through the app’s database – which is compiled using a combination of data on ratings, distance, profile and hourly prices.
The app promises a platform-based service that enlists freelancers and other small businesspeople – similar, in this respect, to tech giants Amazon, Uber and Deliveroo – albeit on a borough-wide scale with a local face fronting the venture.
Handiman’s pitch to South Tyneside residents has been summed up in the following way by the company: “Everyday work done by ordinary handymen and local artisans means everyone in Jarrow wins."
Mr Fenwick says it is free for both customers and service providers to sign up with the app. He added that the Handiman platform would seek to command “a small fee once a booking has been made.”
Having originally trained as an electrician, the Jarrow resident says the idea for the app came to him when he found himself out of work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I found myself with a lot more time on my hands than usual,” he said.
"I realised how hard it had become all of a sudden to get hold of electricians, gardeners and anyone who does that kind of work. A lot of other people I was speaking to at the time were saying the same thing.
"So I started to think about how this problem could be sorted out – and a year later here we are with the Handiman app.”
Mr Fenwick is confident that he has spotted a gap in the market and that local businesses will be keen to get on board.
He added: “I’ve had loads of positive feedback and I’ve spoken with plenty of people in the area who want to get involved.
"The plan is to help fill this gap in South Tyneside and then hopefully one day cover the whole of the North East.”