JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—Today the Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) in collaboration with BSR. The GISC will promote impact sourcing as a hiring strategy to combat youth unemployment and support inclusive economic development, while providing tangible benefits to business.
Impact sourcing is an inclusive employment practice through which companies in global supply chains intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people who would otherwise have limited prospects for formal employment. By providing jobs and training to youth, impact sourcing constitutes the beginning of a meaningful career path leading to a lifetime of employment.
Individuals who participate in impact sourcing experience income increases of between 40% and 200% and learn transferable skills that serve as a springboard for future job opportunities, career advancement and increased remuneration over time. Yet the benefits extend beyond the individual.Youth who are provided with jobs and skills training are able to uplift their families and communities, creating a positive impact that spans generations. Impact sourcing can yield a net positive effect on the community equal to three and a half to four times each worker’s income.
Today, one out of every two young South Africans is unemployed. Among the unemployed are two million individuals with secondary and tertiary education. The government has recognised the need to address these extreme levels of unemployment and recognises the power the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has in building the demand-driven skills of disaffected youth —making the country particularly hospitable to impact sourcing.
The GISC is comprised of influential stakeholders with the mission of building more inclusive global supply chains through advancing wide-scale adoption of impact sourcing. The vision of the GISC is for all people in the world to have the opportunity to obtain productive employment and decent work. Founding members of the coalition include global performance management company, Nielsen, and mobile communications company, Vodacom, among others.
The Rockefeller Foundation identified the need to broaden awareness and understanding of Impact Sourcing as a result of its work on the Digital Jobs Africa initiative, which was launched in 2013 to catalyse new sustainable employment opportunities and skills training for African youth. Over the past few years, the Rockefeller Foundation has been at the frontier of Impact Sourcing, working with the private sector to grow the inclusive hiring practice in South Africa and beyond.
“The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of working to build inclusive economies by knocking down barriers to opportunity. Today I am pleased to debut the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition and witness leading companies coming together to commit to scaling Impact Sourcing globally,” the Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director of Africa, Mamadou Biteye, said at the launch. “Working with the private sector—which provides 9 out of every 10 jobs in the world—to build inclusive supply chains has the potential to change many lives in Africa and beyond.”
At the same time, impact sourcing has been shown to provide a variety of benefits to businesses. The cost of impact sourcing to businesses is comparable to or lower than traditional business process outsourcing (BPO), yet it provides business advantages that include 15%-40% lower attrition rates, higher levels of employee motivation, access to new sources of talent and opportunities to fulfil corporate social responsibility and diversity objectives.
More and more companies from the private sector are recognising the opportunity impact sourcing provides. “Through reductions in labour, operational and recruitment costs, impact sourcing meets cost-saving objectives while increasing access to new workforces,” says Janine du Plessis at Deloitte, a company that has partnered with local service providers and skills-training organisations to impact source for several years. “We recently found that the level of skills and commitment in our impact sourced group is significantly higher.”
“Impact sourcing is not philanthropy; it is a business practice that seeks to maximise societal and business outcomes.” adds BSR Senior Vice President Peder Michael Pruzan-Jorgensen. “BSR is looking forward to working with partners and businesses to drive cross-sector collaboration that makes impact sourcing mainstream.”
For more information on the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition visit gisc.bsr.org
About The Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas—advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyse and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors and take risks others cannot—or will not.
BSR is a global non-profit organisation that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Learn more about BSR’s 25 years of leadership in sustainability.