Digital Divide Data (DDD) has received a grant of $895,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to bring its social enterprise model to Kenya. This funding will enable DDD to invest in an information technology services business that will train and employ 300 youth from slum areas in Nairobi. The grant is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s work, “Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment” (PRIDE). PRIDE is working in Africa to foster and scale up a new arm of the outsourcing industry called impact sourcing by supporting programs aimed at creating employment for the poor by establishing meaningful jobs in the information technology industry.
“We’re thrilled to support DDD in bringing the innovative business model of impact sourcing, which generates employment opportunities for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens, that they pioneered in Southeast Asia to East Africa. As part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment work, this will build on the successful business process outsourcing model that exists in the developing world by fostering and scaling up the impact sourcing industry,” said James Nyoro, Managing Director, Africa at the Rockefeller Foundation.
DDD’s CEO Jeremy Hockenstein said, “We’ve long admired the work of the Rockefeller Foundation, and are proud to be counted among their grantees. We deeply appreciate this funding to support our growth-and are excited to have a partner as committed and thoughtful as the Rockefeller Foundation to help us expand our inclusive business model to Africa.”
DDD’s services power the data entry, XML conversion and digital preservation needs of publishers, libraries, content hosts, academic researchers and businesses globally. The social enterprise competes with leading for-profit companies in the global content conversion industry while employing talented youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in developing countries. The organization employs more than 750 staff in three offices located in Cambodia and Laos.
The current Business Process Outsourcing industry in the developing world has largely been successful at creating job opportunities for higher educated and more successful segments of the population in Asia and Africa. The Rockefeller Foundation’s grant to DDD is part of their PRIDE work aimed at fostering a critical new arm of the industry called impact sourcing. Through its support of Impact Sourcing, Rockefeller will work to nurture and scale up the establishment of an industry that services and employs poor or marginalized populations in Africa. This grant will support DDD as they establish a scalable Impact Sourcing operation in Kenya, creating jobs, developing talent, and serving local clients to serve as a foundation for the growth of an Impact Sourcing industry.