Social Entrepreneur | Founder of Samasource and Samahope
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, a family of impact enterprises that connect women, youth, and refugees living in poverty to microwork―small, computer-based tasks that build skills and generate life-changing income. Janah speaks with knowledge and passion on social entrepreneurship and how to harness the digital revolution to fight to end poverty.
In 2008, Janah founded Samasource, a social business that connects people living in poverty to work via the internet. Samasource provides work to poor women and youth in East Africa, South Asia, and Haiti through microwork, and offers high-quality data services to enterprise customers including LinkedIn, eBay, Walmart.com, and the US State Department. To date, Samasource has paid and trained over 4,000 women and youth in nine countries and disbursed four million dollars in wages. The organization has been featured widely in the press and received the 2012 Innovation Award from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In parallel, Samahope is a website Janah co-founded to crowdfund medical treatments for people who can’t afford them. The organization partners with local clinics and hospitals in poor communities with a track record of excellent care and fiscal discipline.
Janah’s work with Sama Group enterprises has been featured widely in the media, with features in publications including The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, and Fast Company, and she is the subject of a chapter in the book, Hearts on Fire. She was named “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Social Enterprise Alliance in 2011.
Janah serves as a director of CARE USA, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, and TechSoup Global, the world’s largest provider of donated software to non-profits. She was named “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Social Enterprise Alliance in 2011.