The phrases “impact sourcing” and “business process outsourcing”- or BPO – are just jargon to most people. But they describe a model of doing business that advocates say could provide 780,000 new jobs in the next two years – many to Africa’s “youth bulge” of unemployed young people – by providing training, on-the-job experience and career opportunities. AllAfrica examines the potential of digital jobs. Listen to our COO, Mary Ann Byrnes, talk about Samasource’s success.
Fortune Magazine picked our Founder and CEO, Leila Janah, as one of twelve 40 Under 40: Ones to Watch.
“People everywhere yearn for meaning in their lives,” says Leila Janah. “What is more meaningful than giving work and giving life?” Janah is proving this daily with Samasource, her nonprofit enterprise, founded in 2008, which teaches women and youth in rural villages and slums how to do digital-based work for companies like Google and Microsoft that are often housed thousands of miles away. It’s a much-needed corrective to a top-down economic model that, let’s face it, doesn’t work.
Samasource is a nonprofit organization that provides training and computer-based work to women, youth, and refugees living in poverty, while providing Internet-enabled outsourcing services to paying clients. Samasource recruits workers from low-income, underserved communities. A typical worker is between 18 and 30 years old, has less than 6 months of formal work experience, and was earning below a living wage before being recruited.