Scaling Digital Skills

INTRODUCTION

Impact Amplifier (IA) has been appointed by the World Bank and the Youth Employment Service (YES) to explore new ideas, innovations and business models in “impact sourcing” – which will deliver scaled digital skills-based jobs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa. IA has a long track history of accelerating and funding social impact ventures in working to address our continent’s most pressing challenges. If you are based in South Africa, or overseas, and have a highly scalable, and innovative idea which creates digital skills jobs, we are looking for you!

    Impact sourcing, also known as socially responsible outsourcing, refers to an arm of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry that employs people at the base of the pyramid or socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals as principal workers in business process outsourcing centres to provide high-quality, information-based services to domestic and international clients.

    The impact sourcing sector focuses on utilizing workers from poor and vulnerable communities to perform functions with lower and moderate skill requirements such as scanning documents, data entry work, data verification and cleaning, video tagging, digital content creation, social media marketing and microwork.

    Please read the information below carefully and click on the "Submit Your Idea" button when ready:

    BENEFITS TO YOU

    CONTEXT

    The youth unemployment rate in South Africa was a staggering 55.75% in 2020. Unemployment - of youth in particular, contribute heavily to many of our society’s most pressing social issues such as hunger, drug-abuse, alcoholism, disease, parent-absenteeism, crime and poverty to name but a few. To employ youth between the ages of 18-35 years old is one of the most transformative ways to have a lasting social and economic impact in our country. Black African youth and women in particular, usually consigned to township and rural geographies are most affected as they contend with systemic barriers to gainful employment. An often-ill-equipped education system and the high costs associated with ICT (Information and Communications Technology) infrastructure further complicate digital career pathways for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Accordingly, as we find ourselves a part of the global march towards the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) – we know that the majority of job opportunities will be created in the digital skills space. There is a serious lack of supply for the mid-career talent pipeline required to drive business innovation and growth in South Africa. Many of these critical digital skills are either outsourced or imported entirely. A large pool of diversified and digitally-skilled youth is a pre-requisite in turning the economic tide of our country. South African companies of all sizes require a reliable pipeline of digital-skills based talent in order to stimulate local economies, establish strong networks of trade and compete with other nations on the global stage. It’s our hypothesis that both the skills, and innovative business models are lacking in South Africa to address this enormous digital jobs opportunity. 

    OBJECTIVE

    We seek to engage with digital ecosystem actors, leaders, players and thinkers in sourcing the best ideas, business models and innovations for enabling low-skilled youth toward entry-level positions at SCALE. We seek ideas, business models and ventures that require short-training periods, have widespread sector and geographic application, strong outsourcing potential and strong scalability. The ideas may be insourced, outsourced or in the freelance/gig economy across multiple job families (creative, technical, analytical etc.) – but ultimately provide an opportunity for low-skilled and marginalized youth to access a career pathway in the digital-skills economy.

    OUTCOME

    We aim to profile the 5 best ideas to the World Bank and YES which will result in opportunities for creating 20 000 jobs that could be SCALED-UP.

    WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

    We are NOT looking for ideas which are exclusively focused on digital skills training. We are looking for new ideas, and emerging business models which GENERATE REVENUE, are SCALABLE and offer a 'DIGITAL OUTSOURCING PRODUCT/SERVICE' which unemployed youth can earn from.

    Some examples could include: contact centres, financial administration or ICT/data outsourcing, back office processes, and responsible sourcing practices at large companies. Ventures like Andela and Sama are good reference examples for the type of initiatives we are looking for.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    If you have a great idea, are based in South Africa, or overseas, and can create digital skills jobs sustainably in South Africa at scale, we are looking for you! Whether you are an entrepreneur, industry leader, skills-expert, demand-recruiter, government official, or an ordinary South African citizen with a keen interest in the digital space - we are seeking your ideas and innovations!

    HOW

    This simple questionnaire type form will help unpack your idea more clearly and will remain open until the 17th May 2021. Please share this web page and the idea link above in your network/database, with the purpose of gathering more ideas.

    Alternatively, if you represent a corporate actor, government entity, or foundation and you’d prefer to chat with us about your large scale digital-skills employment idea, please use the button below to book a 30-45 minute idea-interview with us.

    The interview will assist us in exploring your idea/innovation more clearly or leverage your knowledge and experience in helping us develop the idea.

    For any other queries, get in touch by sending a mail to: julian@impactamplifier.co.za or click the button below.

    GET IN TOUCH VIA EMAIL

    PROJECT TEAM

    Impact Amplifier is a social innovation and capital advisory firm with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos. IA focuses on supporting high growth impact businesses to access funding from local & international investors. We additionally focus on accelerating and funding inclusive ecosystem innovations to our continent's most pressing challenges.

    The World Bank Group is a unique global partnership of five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The Scaling Digital Skills project is specifically focused at supporting youth employment in the South African digital economy.

    YES is a business-led collaboration with government, labour and civil society to create dignified first-time work experiences for South Africa’s unemployed and disadvantaged youth. In partnership with Impact Amplifier and the World Bank, the Scaling Digital Skills project seeks to engage with digital ecosystem actors, leaders, players and thinkers to source ground-breaking and innovative opportunities to link low-skilled youth to entry-level positions.