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Impact sourcing service providers

Define Impact sourcing service providers (ISSPs)

Impact sourcing service providers are organizations aiming to create a positive social and economic outcome by employing individuals from marginalized or less privileged communities. Impact sourcing emphasizes delivering high-quality services while also contributing to poverty reduction and community development.

Challenges 

Despite their noble goals, ISSPs navigate a challenging landscape:

  • Quality Assurance: Ensuring consistent service quality can be complex due to potential skill gaps within the workforce.
  • Limited access to technology: Teams in marginalized communities may have limited access to reliable internet and communication tools, making it difficult to stay connected with clients and project teams.
  • Continuous Skill Development: Balancing the need for workforce development with the financial constraints of upskilling programs is a critical challenge for organizations.
  • Market Acceptance and Understanding: Securing widespread acceptance by businesses that are unaware of the influence sourcing model demands proactive outreach and evident excellent service delivery.
  • Addressing Broader Social Goals: Constant monitoring and evaluation of social impact as part of business metrics is needed to achieve other commitments involving gender equality and community development.

Hence, ISSPs are a challenged sector, who need to constantly balance the need to make a social impact along with the need to be profitable.

Why and where do we need ISSPs?

The first case of the ISSPs can be traced back to the 2000s. An early instance of ISSP is a BPO by name Rural Shores, started in 2008, which employed high-school graduates and university students from low-income families. Their aim was to assimilate rural India into the knowledge economy.

Though ISSPs encounter the challenges mentioned above, we witness a steady spread across various industries where their zeal to create a social impact is quite visible, especially in finance, healthcare, technology, and tourism.

Their compelling value proposition drives deployment, generates positive social impact and contributes to business success. Operating in various industries and regions, ISSPs tap into untapped talent pools, nurturing self-improvement through skill development and enhancing economic prospects. The concept of impact sourcing rapidly gains popularity for ensuring stable employment, offering skill development avenues, and promoting socio-economic advancement for the underprivileged while achieving business objectives and fostering social change.

Future of ISSPs

In recent times, impact sourcing has experienced remarkable growth, and its future appears promising. ISSPs promise substantial cost savings for the business while delivering a better life for the under-privileged in the form of a stable income. As per a Rockfeller foundation report, in India, ISSPs offer 35-40% saving in manpower costs as compared to traditional BPOs. Further, it was revealed that this model helped increase income of impact workers by up to 33%. With evolving business ecosystems and a heightened focus on responsible practices, ISSPs can play a crucial role in shaping the path of outsourcing. Recognizing the dual benefits of impact sourcing in achieving business objectives and addressing social issues, ISSPs have embraced its potential. However, the lack of a structured approach hampers widespread adoption. To overcome this, ISSPs should emphasize building robust implementation strategies, implementing quality control management systems, instilling customer confidence, and leveraging technology. The discourse around impact sourcing is gaining momentum, indicating its potential to generate significant job opportunities for individuals from marginalized communities while fostering positive social and business impacts.

Benefits of ISSPs

The benefits of ISSPs include:

  • Enhanced Brand Reputation: The adoption of the practices within a socially responsible organization increases brand image and attracts customers and talent who advocate for such values.
  • Stronger Social Impact: Promoting positive social change through job creation and capacity building meets CSR objectives, giving the organization a measure of purpose.
  • Sustainable Business Growth: The opportunity to have a reliable and cost-efficient workforce in combination with driving operating efficiency leads to sustainable business development and success.
  • Greater Innovation and Diversity: The merger of various different views and talent from untapped communities contributes to the growth in levels of creativity within an organization as well as new solutions for solving problems.

Using the advantages of ISSPs, companies can operate effectively to reduce costs and promote positive human actions.

Business outcomes

Impact Sourcing Service Providers bring an innovative and effective solution to the common challenges posed by outsourced services. With the increasing need for ethical and responsible business practices, ISSPs are set to become critical contributors in moulding the new era global labour market while enhancing positive changes across the world.

ISSPs are drivers of social change, more so when socially ethical and responsible partners take the helm. Partner with responsible providers to bring a change, for the better.