Social Entrepreneur | Founder of Sama and Laxmi
Leila Janah is a celebrated social entrepreneur who uses technology and lean business methods to promote social and economic justice. Named one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” in 2013, Janah is the founder of the Sama Group and Laxmi, two companies recently highlighted on Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list, that share a common social mission to end global poverty by giving work to people in need. Janah speaks with knowledge and passion on social entrepreneurship and how to harness the digital revolution to fight to end poverty.
Before founding her organisations, Janah was a Visiting Scholar with the Stanford Program on Global Justice and Australian National University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. She was also a founding Director of Incentives for Global Health, and a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners (now Booz & Co.).
Janah is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Director of CARE USA, a 2012 TechFellow, recipient of the inaugural Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award, and the youngest person to win a Heinz Award in 2014. She also received the Secretary’s Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls from Hillary Clinton in 2012.
Janah was included as one of The New York Times T Magazine’s “Five Visionary Tech Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World” in 2015. She was also named a “Rising Star” on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2011, one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” in 2011, and was profiled as one of Fortune’s “Most Promising Entrepreneurs” in 2013.
She has appeared on national and international news outlets such as BBC, Bloomberg West and Bloomberg Surveillance, CNBC, and Fox Business News, and has addressed influential audiences at premier events including Aspen Ideas Festival, Fast Company Innovation Uncensored, Fortune Brainstorm Tech, SXSW, TEDx, Techonomy and Quartz Next Billion. She has also been featured on the covers of Conscious Company, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and San Francisco’s top lifestyle publication, 7×7.
She received a BA from Harvard in African Development Studies