Creating equal access to
a better future at scale
CEO, Sales Impact Academy
We started with the simple mission to help people who were struggling with their jobs and their businesses. Sales is really hard, building commercial teams is really, really hard. So many businesses have failed because, by and large, everyone is making it up as they go along with no access to formal structured education to give them the best possible chance of success.
One of our core values is to give, without expecting anything in return. It’s what put us on the global map during the darkest days of Covid, when we threw open the doors to Sales Impact Academy for anyone to access for free, and embarked on a program of free masterclasses every single day for 6 months in our “In This Together” program.
So in keeping with our mission to help people, and give without expectation, we wove the SIA Foundation into the founding structure of Sales Impact Academy…
I was inspired the moment I read about the Salesforce 1/1/1 model, where CEO Marc Benioff created a foundation that owned 1% stock, 1% of corporate profits, and 1% of employee time is spent there. But I wanted to go one better, so we doubled our contribution to the SIA Foundation with a 2/2/2 model instead! 2% equity, 2% profit, and 2% employee time. Already the foundation’s stock is worth seven figures and employees of SIA will optionally spend up to 4 workdays a year working at the foundation. I love the idea of embedding philanthropy into the very DNA of our company, so as the business rapidly scales, so too does the ability of our foundation to improve the lives of people who could really benefit from our help. What’s not to like about that!?
What will the foundation do?
The technology industry is facing an unprecedented supply and demand skills issue, with demand for sales and broader go-to-market talent far outstripping the supply.
Additionally, the technology industry is now the biggest driver of the global economy, worth 10s of trillions of dollars.
The ability of the technology industry to create huge corporate valuations, combined with the extreme skills shortage means entry-level roles with no work experience can command $50,000 plus in starting salaries.
At the same time, university education is so expensive it's now out of reach for many people, and vast swathes of society simply don't have the right skills for our modern, complex global economy.
We are also emerging from a global pandemic that taught everyone, that physical location is no longer a barrier to working successfully in sales and go-to-market roles.
We will also promote this exciting and diverse new talent pool to the many customers of Sales Impact Academy who are generally hiring throughout the year and include the likes of Paypal, Zoom, Hubspot, Github, 6Sense, Gong, Klaviyo, and Rubrik.
Additionally, Sales Impact Academy has relationships with a network of technology recruiters and we will do everything we can to also help close the last mile to connect reskilled talent with the massive number of available roles.
Who are we doing this for?
We want to help a number of different adult groups including:
- People who are economically disadvantaged, unemployed or in low-paid jobs
- Underrepresented groups with the aim of improving diversity in all its forms across the tech industry
- Other groups who need support such as veterans, refugees, parents re-entering the workforce, and young people priced out of university education
We will be launching an application process in each of the countries where we operate as the first order of business before running our first cohorts later in 2022.
Where will the foundation operate?
The SIA Foundation is a global charity, and we have aspirations to support the reskilling of people around the world. However, we will initially focus on the US and UK. We fully appreciate these are rich economies, and as soon as we start to reach scale, we want to begin operating in developing countries ASAP.
We will start small in 2022, but our ambition is to see thousands of people granted scholarships in 2023, and 10s of thousands by 2024 and beyond. We have an infinitely scalable live learning solution, and we see it as our moral obligation to use it to give people from all backgrounds equal access to a better future.