The efforts of most organizations in the business world focus on improving efficiency to increase competitiveness and productivity in a highly competitive marketplace. But some, like non-profit groups, aim beyond achieving immediate benefits for a single organization and instead help benefit part of society.
As the Nearshore continues to adapt to important changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of the technology skills gap and geopolitical changes occurring in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, regional public-private partnerships have implemented social initiatives to create employment opportunities and hone regional talent. Although essential to the industry, the role of not-for-profit organizations is often invisible.
Here’s our closer look at a variety of nonprofit initiatives across the Nearshore. Some are government programs while others have emerged from the private sector and civil society. We assessed criteria such as:
Training capacity: The impact of the integration of new technologies, skills and business practices on the workforce.
Impact on underrepresented communities: The ability to reach historically discriminated groups, such as the indigenous population, women and people of color.
Site: Presence on the most dynamic Nearshore markets.
The Top 12 Nearshore American Nonprofits in the Nearshore
Amber/HEART Coding Academy
Launched in January 2021, it is Jamaica’s First-Ever Coding Academy. A partnership between the Amber Group, the HEART/NSTA Trust, the Housing Opportunity Production and Employment (HOPE) program and the Art of Living Foundation. The Jamaican government has set a five-year goal of training 20,000 Jamaicans in software development.
Jamaica has been take bold action towards building vibrant tech hubs on the island, attracting attention as an emerging location for software development outsourcing.
According to Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, “The Amber HEART/NSTA Trust Coding Academy is a revolutionary first step towards realizing our vision of positioning Jamaica as a hub of technology and innovation.”
Eon Reality – Virtual reality laboratory of the University of the West Indies
Another Caribbean initiative, the Eon Reality and the Virtual Reality Lab at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago is expected to reach approximately 5,000 people with training in areas such as engineering, tourism and various global services.
“This program has generated a lot of enthusiasm. We are now looking to turn that into real value for the industry. We met with organizations like the Jamaican Promotion Agency. We want to demonstrate what this can do to improve skills and embed new practices in the workforce,” said Dr. Luz Longsworth, Professional Vice Chancellor and Director of Open Campus at Nearshore Americas.
Go Cali Bilingual City
Colombia is one of the fastest growing BPO markets in Latin America. The South American nation is becoming more attractive as US companies abandon offshoring practices and divest themselves of some Asian markets. Government incentives along with scalability make Colombia a solid location. Many programs and organizations are working to include more people in the workforce and to facilitate training and development.
The city of Cali, in particular, is becoming one of the most strategic locations in Latin America for investment in global services, especially BPO and IT and software. One of the main flaws of the city and the Colombian BPO industry is the lack of bilingualism. Go Cali Bilingual City aims to strengthen foreign language skills in the official educational sector of Cali.
The initiative is the result of a public-private alliance between different public and private universities, the Chamber of Commerce of Cali, English teaching institutions and the mayor’s office.
Laboratoria works in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Chile to train women in technology skills to “shape a more diverse, inclusive and competitive digital economy”.
Founded in 2014, Laboratoria has now graduated over 2,000 women as front-end developers and UX designers, who have gone on to work at over 800 companies across the region. Its global partners include IDB, Google and USAid.
The model is entirely sustainable: women pay nothing to attend the bootcamp which has an employment rate of 83%. Once a graduate finds a job, they repay the cost of the course in monthly installments so Laboratoria can help another young female graduate.
Educamás Foundation works to raise student retention and graduation rates in Colombia. It also partners with private sector organizations to provide the training and skills needed for new working conditions.
“We have agreements with 18 educational establishments and a network of 30 associated companies. We try to quickly generate the right educational tools, employability and development for social mobility,” said María Alejandra Baene, Executive Director of Educamás.
Suarez Andrade Madre Teresa de Calcuta Foundation (Montería Te Llama)
The Foundation welcomesMonteria Te Llama», a job-generating program linked to the BPO industry. This project was born out of a soup kitchen for vulnerable people in the city of Monteria in Colombia.
The aim is to provide young people with training and employment in call centres.
“The results are clear. Konecta and its client Bancolombia decided to bet on it and today we have 650 young people with jobs and new life prospects,” Maria Milene Andrade Garcia, social worker and initiative coordinator, told Nearshore Americas recently. .
Cincinnatus Craft Institute
Located in the Dominican Republic, the Cincinnatus Institute of Craftsmanship (CIC) is the brainchild of the husband-and-wife team behind Intellisys D. Corp, which provides self-managed, integrated technology talent to global enterprises.
The Institute trains young people in the Dominican Republic who have shown promise in the field of technology, but who may lack the resources to properly pursue a career in the field. A lack of electricity or insufficient formal schooling are two of the many reasons why talented young people cannot keep their promise, Christian Corcino told Nearshore Americas recently.
CIC uses blended and experiential learning to shape young people for professional careers and offers extensive support to ensure that every young person has a full history of formal high school so there is no obstacles in his way.
Impact Sourcing Initiative to advance the integration of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia
This impact sourcing initiative by Refugee Tent Partnership, IAOPthe global business process outsourcing (BPO) association, and BProthe Colombian association BPO, which offers Venezuelan migrants jobs in the Colombian BPO industry, comes in response to the influx of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.
An estimated 5.4 million Venezuelans have left their home country since a political and economic crisis deepened. Colombia, which has become the fourth largest BPO jurisdiction in Latin America, with a market of approximately US$23 billion.
“The BPO sector is one of Colombia’s main industries and is growing at a rapid pace; we felt there was a huge opportunity for BPO companies to show their support for Venezuelan refugees and redouble their efforts to integrate them,” said Yaron Schwartz, head of the BPO initiative on the tent partnership for the refugees.
go na web
go na web is a self-proclaimed digital talent training platform in Brazil. Founded in 2017, the initiative trains young people from all over Brazil in advanced digital programming. Their goal is to reduce inequalities, create decent jobs and reduce the gender gap in the country.
“We teach vulnerable young people the skills and competencies needed to meet the challenges of the digital economy and to pursue fulfilling and rewarding careers. We are preparing the next generation of workers fueled by diversity and inclusion. Vai na Web is a smart solution for businesses that need to accelerate their web and mobile deliveries while contributing to socially responsible approaches,” Vai na Web co-founder and executive director Aline Fróes told Nearshore Americas.
Fundacion Pro Education & Empleo
Guatemala is another country emerging as an attractive BPO location. The country has businesses oﬀoffering a wide range of services ranging from customer service and telemarketing to more specific outsourcing services such as collections, subscriptions, help desk, database maintenance, data feeding and outsourcing of financial and administrative services.
In this context, the Fundacion Pro Education & Empleo is dedicated to the development and training of talents. The inclusion of women in the labor force is also an important component of her work.
“Our Foundation is committed to strengthening the level of education in the country to meet the standards and requirements of employers. At the same time, over the past three years we have organized the largest job fairs in Guatemala, with around 550 companies from all economic sectors involved,” Director Alejandro Quijada told Nearshore Americas.
According to their mission statement, the nonprofit “aims to make the business landscape in Latin America more competitive and inclusive by accelerating the careers of high-performing women and men of African and Indigenous descent (ADI) from underrepresented communities”.
TalentoTotal helps talented people increase their leadership skills and pursue further education, especially MBAs and law degrees.
TalentoTotal has offices in several Latin American markets, including Colombia and Brazil, as well as two locations in the United States.
the Avassant Foundation is an international leader in impact sourcing. The organization has created thousands of jobs around the world, particularly benefiting disadvantaged young people.
The Avasant Foundation has established partnerships with the Inter-American Development Bank and various governments in the region, including offering training in STEM and ICT. The Foundation has advised several countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and the Dominican Republic to attract global BPO companies.