The best way to alleviate poverty is to increase the income of the poor by providing productive employment. A pragmatic approach is to focus on a sector of the economy that is employment intensive and growing rapidly. A good candidate is the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. Impact sourcing is a subset of the BPO sector that focuses on reducing poverty by providing jobs to the poor. While this sounds promising, impact sourcing has not delivered on the promise, at least not yet. We illustrate our argument using in-depth case studies of three of the largest impact sourcing service providers, and provide recommendations on how the impact sourcing sector can achieve greater social impact at scale.
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Karnani, Aneel and McKague, Kevin
"Scaling Jobs for the Poor: Reducing Poverty through the Impact Sourcing BPO Approach,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
4, Article 2.
Development Studies Commons, Economics Commons, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations Commons, International Business Commons, Nonprofit Administration and Management Commons, Other Business Commons
Aneel Karnani is Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Dr. Karnani researches strategies for growth, global competition, and the role of business in society. Karnani's research on the role of business in society includes approaches to poverty reduction and the appropriate roles for the private sector, the state and civil society. He is interested in how society can strike the appropriate balance between private profits and public welfare in tackling major societal problems.
Kevin McKague is the Canada Research Chair in Social Enterprise and Inclusive Markets at the Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University. McKague researches social business models, entrepreneurial ecosystems and social franchising. He is particularly interested in how social businesses manage the tensions between economic and social/ecological value creation.