Established in 2006, Daproim Africa is an outsourcing social enterprise that offers quality and affordable volume data management services to local and international clients by training and employing disadvantaged youth in East Africa. It is currently employing 120 full time staff and over 400 virtual university students. In essence, Daproim seeks to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged graduates through active engagement in the formal economy while asking clients to hold them accountable for high quality work. This is how we differentiate ourselves from other business process outsourcing companies.
Tell us about the impact that your company is having in the region?
We try to solve two problems one is unemployment and the other handling non-core activities for companies. Thus far we have trained over 4000 youth and now we have obtained a contract to train 3000 youth through the AJIRA Digital Project; an initiative of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology targeting youth with online opportunities by providing them with tools, training and mentorship to work and earn an income through online work. Our goal is to train and create online job opportunities for 20,000 disadvantage youth by 2020.
Why did you become a B Corp?
The confidence of having a deeper purpose and meeting high standards of performance and transparency transforms the confidence of my staff and my organization. We knew that we were making an impact in the lives of others but through a project funded by Rockefeller foundation, we discovered that we were actually a social enterprise and they introduced us to the B Corp movement. We liked the idea of an external third party looking holistically at how Daproim uses business as a force for good and validating that we are on the right track. The certification holds us accountable to our commitments by comparing our performance against other companies that are best for the world and creating a roadmap for improvement.
What have been the benefits of being a B Corp?
The B Corp certification is one of our greatest achievements thus far. First and foremost, internally with the team it has given the employees great confidence in driving that deeper purpose, knowing that we have a globally recognized certification that embeds our mission. We are not content and try to improve our standards with each re-certification process. This has also been advantageous with international clients who recognize and appreciate the certification. One client saw the B Corp logo and wanted to hire us immediately. From that point on if anything I overuse the B Corp certification
What were your challenges through the certification process?
You really need to understand why you are doing this because it is a rigorous and thorough process, with high standards. You can easily give up. It has to be embedded within the mission of the WHOLE organization and its values, and the team executing well motivated and committed.
There is also always the challenge of getting the new employees to understand the certification and what it means for the organization. We try to engage them through our interactive Fridays. We are also thinking of new ways to do this now that B Lab East Africa has launched in the region.
What has changed in your organization as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment (BIA)?
Most importantly we have made great strides in standardizing our internal processes and holding those standards to a high bar. We developed an internal B Corp Certification Playbook based on the BIA best practice with regard to areas such as inclusion in the workplace and maternity leave. And this is given to all employees during orientation to ensure everything is well understood as company values and policy.
What does the year ahead hold in store for your company?
We are slowly expanding to other African countries, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda through digitization products and networking to create more jobs for unemployed youth. As well as building a training school. We see the transformation and opportunity to make greater impact and be part of the change and we are energized for it.
What is inspiring you at the moment with the launch of B Lab East Africa?
I am really excited to grow the community here in the region to be well recognized. Especially with other BPOs in my industry that have great impact stories. I am Looking forward to that moment when the B Corp East Africa movement will be a large network that is truly transforming the way business is done in the region as a positive instrument for change.