We undertake software projects in conjunction with partners in developing countries such as Kenya. This is not Offshore Outsourcing, but rather a way of growing the ICT sector in developing countries by allowing start-ups in those countries to participate in projects run to international standards. This provides people with role models and mentors not available in their own country, and allows them to learn management skills. In return our customers in the Netherlands benefit from involvement in a sustainable initiatives and the positive PR that this creates.
We started Fair Trade Software in 2011 and there is now a non-profit organisation to promote the model further, the Fair Trade Software Foundation (www.ftsf.eu). The FTS Foundation is run by a Board of people from academia, government and industry. A small number of other companies have joined the Foundation (such as Dutch company Trinity Software Center www.trinitysoftwarecenter.com/) or are interested in joining, but we are very careful to restrict access to companies genuinely involved in growing capacity and capability in developing countries, rather than just using the label as a sales gimmick.
This has helped a substantial amount of 1.000.000 Africans in 3 years time. We will talk about what we’ve done to achieve this, how we’ve done this and why.