Grow Your Business, Make an Impact
Posted on Sep 12, 2017 by BPTeC-Kenya
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural, it is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
These are the words of the late South African president Nelson Mandela in an address to end global poverty.
Economic inequality is one of the most alarming global challenges of our time. But while businesses can be responsible and sustainable enterprises, their main imperative is not social justice but profitability. A business can sustain itself only if it is profitable. Can businesses be profitable and make a difference at the same time?
One of the most sustainable means of reducing inequality is by providing career development opportunities to talented individuals who normally would not have had access to these opportunities. In the world of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), we call this socially responsible outsourcing or impact sourcing.
What is impact sourcing?
Impact sourcing is a type of IT-BPM service delivery that trains the socially marginalised as principal workers. While similar to traditional offshore outsourcing in that it leads to minimising cost while maximising profits, impact sourcing differentiates itself as a framework in that it focuses on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
This practice started a decade ago in small Indian villages and has now spread to Africa and other remote areas. It is hoped by many in the IT-BPM industry that impact sourcing will prove to be effective in stimulating the economies of developing countries and linking them to the global economy.
What are the benefits of impact sourcing?
Given today’s demographic trends, between 700,000 to 1-billion jobs will be needed by 2020 to accommodate the youth entering the workforce and to help reduce unemployment by 50%.
With impact sourcing, talented and high-potential individuals have the chance to help their families and improve their way of life. It provides a foundation for a meaningful career path, which leads to a lifetime of professional fulfilment.
When impact sourcing brings opportunities to more remote areas, locals no longer have to flee to the cities or to attempt risky ocean crossings in search of a better life in another continent. Impact sourcing transforms the lives of young men and women by leveraging raw talent through behavioural skills training, technical training and even formal education.
How can businesses benefit from this kind of outsourcing?
Compared to traditional business process outsourcing, impact sourcing has 15-40% lower attrition rates which translate to higher levels of employee engagement. Loyalty is one of the key traits of impact workers because they tend to stay with the same company for years in exchange for helping them train and find employment. Additionally, these committed individuals get to know their clients’ needs over time, which in turn cultivates strong relationships.
Through impact sourcing, companies have the opportunity to build a stronger and more talented labour pools across various supply chains globally. Moreover, they can gain significant cost savings in comparison to delivery centers located in the US or UK.
Ultimately, the boom of the impact sourcing space is an exciting development that could potentially transform the business sector and the lives of millions of individuals.
BPTeC-Kenya is a private sector initiative seeking to promote and develop global IT-BPM services in Kenya by supporting international and domestic investments. To know more about our initiatives, give us a ring through +254 786 287 643 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.