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Home » Podcast » Outsourcing To Africa: Business & Impact – with Valerie Bowden of CRDLE

Outsourcing To Africa: Business & Impact – with Valerie Bowden of CRDLE

Outsourcing To Africa Business & Impact - with Valerie Bowden of CRDLE

In this episode of the Outsource Accelerator Podcast, Derek is joined once again by Valerie Bowden, the Founder and CEO of CRDLE.

They discussed remote work and staff augmentation, the positive impact of outsourcing, and CRDLE winning the OIR Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

CRDLE’s business model

CRDLE is an outsourcing company that “hires anywhere in African countries.” Valerie takes pride in African talent, as well as the social impact that her business creates.

CRDLE has been “really lucky to be growing like crazy” since the company’s launch a year and a half ago. 

The firm’s model is a little different, as they “are not the first touch point.”

“We hire people who have previously worked for international companies. And that’s for a few reasons.

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First, because we found our clients don’t want to be the ones training them, and because we’re a smaller team still, we don’t have the bandwidth to do some of that initial training.”

She added, “What we found is that there are a lot of Fortune 500 companies that hire from the continent, but the pay is super low, and there’s no good benefits. What we do is we allow [employees] to get that experience, and then when they’re ready to move on and have a better career path, that’s when they come to CRDLE.

The ones we get are super trained, and they’re used to working with US companies. That’s kind of specifically been our model and it’s been really successful for us.”

The CRDLE Founder added, “It’s been really exciting to see when it [changes] a lot of Americans’ perceptions about African countries and shows them the amazing skill and the talent on the continent.”

The positive impact of outsourcing

CRDLE won the Silver Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Outsourcing Impact Awards (OIR) last October 2023.

Since they won the award, Valerie shared that organizations like USAID and GIZ have reached out to them about their social impact.

The CRDLE CEO’s background is in social work. While she initially thought she’d end up in the nonprofit sector, she “realized if people have jobs, you don’t need donated clothes or donated food.”

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She added, “I think everyone, in general, but especially the young people, just wants to work.

They want to have careers. They want to get paid good money. They don’t want handouts.

That’s really why I got into outsourcing because you can create jobs so much quicker than probably any other sector. Overnight, we might get a request from a client to add 50 new people or a hundred new people. I think the social impact is fabulous.”

Valerie-Bowden-CRDLE-outsource-accelerator-podcast-qoute

Further, Valerie acknowledged that the most important thing still “is to have a business ROI.” 

“In fact, as we’ve grown, I would say our best clients could probably care less about this social impact. And they don’t come to us to make a difference. That’s the truth, and that really just shows you how much talent is on the continent.”

Outsourcing won’t take your job

Coming from the USA, the CRDLE CEO is aware of the misconceptions surrounding outsourcing.

“I think there’s this idea that outsourcing takes jobs away from Americans. Even if USAID is interested in supporting outsourcing to Africa, and even if they realize that it’s not taking jobs away from America, the general perception in the US is that that’s true.”

She shared that she struggled with introducing the industry to some people due to the misconceptions.

“I really struggle when people ask what I do. Sometimes, I say outsourcing, and then I can see on their faces that it didn’t bode well with them.

If I say staffing, that kind of seems boring, especially when everything we do is so complex and involved.

If I say I create jobs in Africa, I don’t love that because it doesn’t really focus on the cool business ROI that we do have. So I would love to find a different name to describe what we do – or hopefully, the term outsourcing will just have a better reputation, and people will have a better understanding.”

Outsourcing won’t take your job
Outsourcing won’t take your job

Further, Valerie begs to disagree to outsourcing misconceptions.

“Outsourcing won’t take your job, but the person who knows how to have a hybrid model and work with people in emerging economies and plug them into the right functions in your business, that’s the person you should be scared of.

[Be scared of] the person who can run a remote team. But I don’t think outsourcing in itself will take anyone’s job.”

Connect with Valerie through her LinkedIn page or visit their website to learn more.

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 450+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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