The Business of Impact SourcingOn June 12, 2017, SAP Ariba, a software and information technology company, and Samasource, a nonprofit organization working to fight poverty, announced their partnership. Both organizations hope to fight poverty through collaboration and an innovation known as impact sourcing.

Samasource, founded in 2008, works to fight poverty by using the model also referred to as socially responsible outsourcing. Impact sourcing primarily helps the disadvantaged rather than as a means of saving capital. The model provides impoverished individuals with access to work and training.

Samasource does this by partnering with other organizations interested in increasing the social impact of their companies. Using a business model called “microwork,” Samasource breaks down a company’s large scale data projects into smaller pieces. Then, they outsource the smaller projects to people in need of work in the United States and throughout the world. These new workers are trained in computer (and other necessary) skills.

Samasource helped lift more than 36,000 people out of poverty through this revolutionary model.

But impact sourcing is not limited to Samasoucre. Digital Divide Data is a social enterprise that seeks to deliver high-quality digital content to its customers. The company relies on impact sourcing to assist disadvantaged youth from low-income families secure jobs. Digital Divide Data helped lead numerous individuals out of poverty by doing this since 2001.

ImpactHub is an online platform that seeks to connect businesses with service providers that will match them with “high potential but disadvantaged women and youth.”

Currently, about 1.8 billion people around the world cannot find work and do not have access to higher education. Africa will soon hold one of the largest workforces on the planet, but will not have enough readily available jobs to supply their needs. Impact sourcing is a viable solution to this problem. Today, more than 500,000 people are working because of impact sourcing.

Impact sourcing is a growing business model. Similar to microfinancing, it continues to garner attention and support in the business community.

Rebeca Ilisoi

Photo: Flickr

Earlier this June, several African nations came together to create the Regional Scholarship and Innovative fund to recommit to developing technology skills. The fund is a partnership that will help create thousands of new jobs across Africa, as well as develop specialized skills for African workers everywhere.

The fund is a project facilitated by the World Bank’s Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET). The initiative of PASET is “to accelerate the creation of a skilled, high-quality workforce in Africa to power Africa’s socio-economic transformation,” according to

The fund was created out of a $5 million investment from the World Bank back in 2013. Africa’s decision to commit itself to advancing skills in science and technology stems from a disparaging gap in work skills between African workers and workers worldwide.

The idea behind the fund is modeled after similar ideas done by Brazil, India and China years ago when their own economies were struggling. By deciding to invest heavily in science and technological research, these global powerhouses reinvented themselves by cultivating specialized skills for their workforces.

One specific area of reform targeted by the fund is the immediate training of 10,000 doctors across Africa to begin bolstering the continent’s health issues. By making an effort to modernize key industries such as medicine and engineering, Africa is preparing to step onto the same level as other major global powers.

The fund seeks to develop essential 21st century skills in Africans in the hopes that it will help “bring together all partners – public and private, traditional and emerging partners.” By allowing the African workforce to develop into a self-sustaining group, Africa can begin to move away from a heavy dependence on foreign aid.

PASET is the means by which Africa will enter a new era of social and economic development. The skills being taught to Africans will affect agriculture, infrastructure and modern medicine in a continent plagued by poverty and malnutrition. With the World Bank behind it, Africa is poised to leap into the 21st century as an economic power.

– Diego Alejandro Catala

Sources: World Bank, Ghana Web