Work in Poor African Nations Spurred Harvard Graduate Leila Janah to Give Back Through Samasource

Leading Data, Content Service Company Logs 400% Increase in Accounts

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At a time when even tech giants such as Dell are downsizing because of the weak business environment, a U.S.-based company that logged a 400 per cent increase in accounts the past 12 months is certainly impressive and truly blessed.

Samasource, founded in 2008 by Harvard graduate Leila Janah, is a leading provider of data and content services. Its clients include Google, Walmart, eBay, the University of California San Francisco and Getty Images.

The numbers are expected to go up as Ms Janah projects a triple-digit growth for 2013, bolstered no doubt by a 97 per cent client retention rate.

Unlike most tech firms which hire only techies and college graduates from Ivy league universities, what sets Samasource apart is that it employs more than 800 skilled women from five poor nations in Africa, Asia and Haiti as its main workforce.

Ms Janah's preferential treatment for these types of workers comes from her exposure to poverty in third world nations when she acquired a degree in African Development Studies in 2005 at Harvard, which included field work in Mozambique, Senegal and Rwanda as well as a personal teaching stint in Ghana.

Although born in Buffalo, New , in 1983 and raised in Los Angeles, California, Ms Janah recognises her Asian roots since Samasource derived its name from the Sanskrit world sama, which means equal.

Samasource places such corporate responsibility goals into practice by providing employment opportunities to poor women like Martha from Nairobi, Kenya, whose story was made into a documentary.

These women are trained by Samasource to provide specialised digital services at high speed, quality and massive scale though a built-in proprietary network platform, the Samahub, which features five steps of automated quality assurance.

"Our proprietary microwork platform is the most sophisticated on the market. This platform coupled with our fully-managed and trained global workforce of agents, gives enterprises a way to tackle their difficult projects with high-quality output and flexible, results-based pricing," quoted Ms Janah.

For her work, Ms Janah was recognised in 2009 by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology, the Prix NetExplorateur from the French Senate and the World Technology Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2010. In 2012, she was cited as one of the Top 10 Women in Tech Who Give Back.

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