Leila Janah: Entrepreneur with a Heart

by NateB11

Leila Janah is founder and CEO of Samasource, a company that provides digital work for developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. She is an entrepreneur with a heart.

Leila Janah works for social justice and equality by providing work for poverty-stricken areas of developing countries by way of micro-work. She founded Samasource for that purpose and is responsible for bringing money and opportunity to countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Find out about her story as a social entrepreneur.

Who is Leila Janah?

Compassion is her Business

Leila Janah wants to end poverty. Looking at the horrific conditions of the poor across the globe, she sees the atrocity of people having to live on a few dollars a day. She is familiar with this problem, having family from India, including famed photographer Sunil Janah who exposed the poverty and deprivation in Bengal.

She's carried on that spirit of taking action on social issues. When she was only 15 years old, she joined the American Civil Liberties Union and soon after volunteered in Ghana where she taught English. She saw poverty first hand in her ventures overseas. She knew that people wanted work and needed pay. She knew that something must and can be done to bring about a change in the living conditions of people in developing countries. She knew that the resources could be placed in the hands of the people who were suffering most.

Leila graduated from Harvard and went on to work for the World Bank where she met people of poorer countries whom she knew had the potential and drive to bring themselves out of poverty.

What Did Leila Janah Do?

Leila Janah and Samasource

Taking all of this in, her family legacy of acting for social justice and her experiences seeing poverty in developing nations, Janah had to act, she had to do something significant that would affect change.

This is when she created Samasource. Sama is the root word for equality and justice. Her Internet company is all about that.

She provides digital microwork for poor people across the globe and thereby also gets work done for her clients. Pieces of a big job are broken down into smaller pieces of work and sent to people in developing countries (with the help of partners in those countries), earning them enough money to come out of and stay out of poverty; with a success rate of 92 percent. The program is set up with a training program and resources to help get the tasks done efficiently and correctly.

Samasource has contracted with the big names: eBay, Google, Microsoft and Stanford University to name a few. To the tune of $5 million. No small change. They've gotten the support of Mastercard and the US Department of State. No small thing.

The model is genius. For companies that are outsourcing anyway, at least with Samasource they will be helping to end poverty.

Leila Janah, with her beautiful heart, has accomplished what she set out to do, in a wonderfully intelligent way. She has used a business model that directs businesses to help bring people out of poverty.

As far as I'm concerned, that is brilliant.

What Else Will Samasource Do?


Turns out, Leila would like to help those in need here at home in the US too. This is why she started SamaUSA. The program trains poor community college students and directs them to work online. This will help them in their schooling, so not only will Leila be helping to put a major dent in poverty, she is also furthering education.

Leila also has co-founded SamaHope, a crowd-funding site that helps people in poor countries get medical care.

She beautifully continues to expand her efforts for this better world she is helping to create.


Leila Janah is truly an entrepreneur with a heart. She saw the problems of poverty, hunger, desperation and deprivation and did something about it. And what she did is long-term. She is providing connections and skill sets for people thought to be lost in poverty. She has brought them out of poverty and has set the path for them to stay out of poverty. She has leveraged the Internet and even outsourcing to turn the bad to good.

She has brought business into the realm of compassion and humanitarianism.

Yes, she is an entrepreneur with a heart.

Updated: 01/18/2014, NateB11
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