Digital skills and freelance training to marginalized individuals

Where: Headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in Kenya, Uganda, and India

Since when: Founded in 2008

The target: Our mission is to move people permanently out of extreme poverty by connecting them with digital work.

The Problem

Across the globe, 197 million people are unemployed, and another 1.5 billion are vulnerably employed. According to the World Bank, over 3 billion humans live on an income of less than $1.50 per day, which often isn’t enough to purchase basic amenities like food and shelter. Samasource is a groundbreaking social business that helps people pull themselves out of poverty with digital work. We believe that dignified work is the most effective and sustainable way to not only reduce poverty but address poverty’s downstream effects, such as war, mass migration, health disparities and climate change.

The Solution

Samasource was born from the belief that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Since 2008 we have trained and professionally employed over 10,000 disadvantaged youth and women. Despite the fact that many of them have never used computers or the internet before in a professional capacity, Samasource has enabled them to make high-quality contributions to state-of-the-art image-tagging and transcription projects for prominent global clients such as LinkedIn, Google, Microsoft, and Getty Images.

The Product

Samasource provides digital skills and freelance training to marginalized individuals to work either at our owned-and-operated business process outsourcing (BPO) delivery centers, at our freelance agency or as independent freelancers. We recognize that there is a need for refugees, migrants, and IDPs to find flexible employment and develop skills that can be carried forward and applied in their resettled state.

The impact on the life of refugees

Following successful deployment of our freelancing agency in Nairobi, our nimble freelancing model is being implemented in Dadaab refugee camp and for refugees in Jordan as an effective solution to enable livelihood creation in protracted refugee situations. We rigorously measure, assess, and report how effectively our programs lift the individuals, their families, and their communities out of poverty. We have directly impacted over 10,000 people by providing them with training and full-time employment (which includes healthcare, pension, professional development, etc). We have also indirectly lifted out of poverty over 45,000 people, our agents’ dependents whose lives are sustainably elevated by the advancement and employment we provide. Samasource agents make on average 4.5 times what they made before being employed at our delivery centers.

Our Team

Leila Janah, Founder and CEO

Philip Chikwiramakomo
Philip Chikwiramakomo

Phillip Chikwiramakomo, Director for Advisory Services

Sarah Ojuando-Ndinya
Sarah Ojuando-Ndinya

Sarah Ojuando-Ndinya, Director, Digital Basics

Henry Katam
Henry Katam

Henry Kiptoo Katam, Senior Trainer at Digital Basics

Sarah Currid
Sarah Currid

Sarah Currid, Managing Director of Samaschool

Our Results

Since its inception in 2008, Samasource has employed over 10,000 people, and moved over 45,000 people out of poverty permanently.
Samasource’s operational costs became fully supported by our earned revenue in 2016 when we reached economic sustainability. We also achieved 40% year over year growth.
Our freelance agency is comprised of high potential urban youth ages 18-26 living in and around Nairobi, under or at the poverty line, with varying educational backgrounds. The agency has completed over 150 jobs and paid over $100,000 in wages since September 2017.
Since our inception, we’ve proudly served over 150 Fortune 500 and next-generation start-ups.

Our future goals, thanks to your donations

Given the demand for our products and services thus far, our vision is to scale our solutions to impact the lives of as many refugees as possible by 2020, and for this we are looking for critical seed funding for key initiatives such as enhancing our technology platform to meet high demand, expanding our training programs to be include more in-demand topics and building more BPO delivery centers for employment in regions of the world grappling with heavy refugee populations such as the Middle East.

More about us:

Our website

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