Outsourcing has been a business strategy for as long as entrepreneurs have found alternatives that are less expensive than doing everything themselves. And offshoring has been a part of those same entrepreneurs’ vocabularies for the last 20 years.
Impact Sourcing? Well, that’s a newer one. So far, the team at impacthub.org has offered the simplest definition:
Basically impact sourcing is a way to take digital work that is being offshored and direct it towards workers and areas that would not typically access it.
Given this definition, one could say that Impact Sourcing simply shifts work from 2nd- to 3rd-tier locations. And, for some companies, that may be the case.
However, any robust definition of Impact Sourcing also encompasses how workers and employers experience the relationships between themselves and with the work. Indeed, that experience separates Impact Sourcing from run-of-the-mill changes of location for digital work.
For instance, the Rockefeller Foundation, working through its Digital Jobs Africa initiative, has recently put a great deal of thought and effort into developing strategies for Impact Sourcing. As part of these endeavors, a more robust definition of Impact Sourcing has begun to emerge:
Impact Sourcing is a socially responsible arm of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Information Technology Outsourcing industry that intentionally employs people who have limited opportunity for sustainable employment—often in low-income areas.
In fact, we’d like to take that definition one step further–keep an eye out for our forthcoming worker-centric definition, which will emphasize quality jobs, as well as skill and personal development that brings hope to families and communities.
At CloudFactory, we don’t view Impact Sourcing as just some strategy or just the latest fad in sustainable development initiatives. Instead, we consider ourselves an Impact Sourcing Provider (ISP)—after all, the goal of positively impacting the lives of workers and their families drives every facet of our business. In turn, our focus on impacting our workers’ lives leads to an even greater impact on our clients.
Yet making an impact involves more than issuing a paycheck to a poor person. We measure impacts in the individual workers who open their first bank accounts or who visit local schools to mentor young students. Positive impacts improve the lives of our clients as well—indeed, we measure impacts in time and cost reductions or in the increasing quality of a client’s product or service.
In fact, our goal is simple:
We want to make everything better than before.
Are you a client who wants to grow a business but cannot scale for fear of a spike in costs or decrease in quality? We handle that everyday. Are you smart but happen to live in an emerging economy wrecked by massive unemployment? We handle that too. Do you live in a community that is plagued with apathy, broken systems, and endemic poverty? We’ve got you covered.
Currently, Impact Sourcing focuses on providing digital employment for the financially poor and disadvantaged. We love that, but we are not satisfied with that focus. We define poverty differently. In doing so we have discovered that poverty is a global issue that even plagues the Silicon Valley. Indeed, we are an Impact Sourcing company that has set it sights on transforming everything we touch. If we have the ability to fix something that is broken, find something that is lost, or optimize a process we are going after it.