RSF is pleased to announce a new loan to Liberty Source, a public benefit corporation and subsidiary of Digital Divide Data (DDD) that employs members of the military spouse community to provide U.S.-based business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions. Although the business was founded this summer, it already employs over 90 people at Fort Monroe in Virginia. RSF has provided working capital to support DDD in the implementation of this new domestic venture in impact sourcing.
An existing RSF borrower, Digital Divide Data is an internationally-acclaimed social enterprise that pioneered “Impact Sourcing,” a model that creates jobs in the BPO industry and builds talent in the developing world. Impact Sourcing empowers people to become technologically literate participants in the global economy while encouraging first-world clients to consider the entire value chain for their business, just as fair trade has done for the food and agriculture sector. DDD’s international offices are located in Laos, Cambodia, and Kenya.
Although dozens of other firms around the world now engage in Impact Sourcing, DDD’s approach is unique in that it incorporates a comprehensive program of employment and higher education, creating an enduring, life-changing environment for young men and women who otherwise face limited employment options. Liberty Source addresses a growing market need for a competitively priced and flexible U.S.-based BPO solution by employing military spouses and other members of the military community, providing them with the training and practical experience necessary to get them on the first rung of the professional career ladder.
“DDD has a thirteen year track record of growing social impact and strengthening the earning power of its staff,” says RSF’s Senior Director of Lending, Ted Levinson. “We’re glad to help by bringing the DDD model – that has accomplished so much in Asia and Africa – to the U.S. Our military families make tremendous sacrifice; it is gratifying to work with social enterprises supporting this community.”
There are over 700,000 military spouses in the United States, with 80% of them having post high school education. Although this is significantly higher than the general U.S. population, these dedicated spouses are four times as likely to be unemployed or underemployed because of the limited number of job opportunities near military bases and the frequency at which military families move from base to base. Liberty Source brings these highly motivated, educated members of the military community together with DDD’s proven employee development program, providing them with the means to enter, or return to, the workforce, while also offering the opportunity to augment their family income. Additionally, Liberty Source provides an alternative to outsourcing abroad, keeping jobs onshore and helping improve the U.S. economy.
“Without support from RSF, we would not have been able to get Liberty Source off the ground,” said Deborah Kops, Board Chair, Liberty Source and Board Member, DDD. “The RSF loan provided us the seed money to hire staff and buy equipment. Only a mission-aligned lender understands both the social impact and the imperative to operate a commercially viable company.”
About Liberty Source
Headquartered in Hampton Roads, Virginia on the decommissioned Fort Monroe military base, Liberty Source is a business process outsourcer (BPO) delivering corporate processes such as finance and accounting, human resources and customer care to clients seeking a flexible, onshore and cost-efficient solution. The company, the first viable onshore alternative to the traditional offshore BPO model, has a compelling, socially conscious mission; tap into the dedicated, under-employed pool of highly skilled military spouses by providing educational and career opportunities. By harnessing the power of this domestic workforce, and creating strong alliances with leaders in the education, consulting and technology sectors, Liberty Source is able to rapidly implement powerful solutions that meet the changing needs of its clients. A Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) owned by Digital Divide Data, Liberty Source is for-profit, yet designed as responsible and sustainable enterprise, managed for the benefit of its clients, its shareholders and the broader public interest. For more information please visit http://www.liberty-source.com.