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Leila Janah - Participant

Sama means equal in Sanskrit and is the guiding principle of my life and work.

Samasource, a nonprofit I founded four years ago, connects people living in poverty to microwork-- small, computer-based tasks that build skills and generate life-changing income. To date, we’ve moved over 14,000 people out of poverty in nine countries, secured over $5M in contracts with over 75 leading technology and data firms including eBay, Walmart.com, and LinkedIn, and received funding from leading donors including the Google, Rockefeller, Cisco, and Ford Foundations. The organization is the recipient of dozens of awards, including the 2012 Secretary’s Innovation Award from Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Templeton Freedom Award and the NetExplorateur Award from the French Senate.

The same concept inspired me to co-found Samahope, the world’s first crowdfunding site for medical treatments for people in need, including obstetric fistula, burn contracture and cleft palate. Samahope has received funding from angel donors in Silicon Valley and been featured in Fast Company and CTV, airing nationally in Canada.

Before Samasource, I worked at the Stanford Program on Global Justice and co-founded Incentives for Global Health, an initiative to increase R&D spending on diseases of the poor. I've also worked as a management consultant and as a travel writer for Let's Go in Mozambique, Brazil and Borneo.

I'm a frequent speaker on social entrepreneurship and technology, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, and the recipient of the TEDIndia, PopTech and Rainer Arnhold Fellowships.

My work has been profiled by Forbes, CBS, CNN, NPR, the BBC, The New York Times, and The New Scientist, and on the cover of Fast Company's July 2012 issue. I've been fortunate to receive several awards for my work, including a 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Social Enterprise Alliance, a 2010 World Technology Award, a 2012 TechFellow Award, and the 2012 Club de Madrid Young Leader award, presented by President Bill Clinton. Sorel partnered with me this fall to launch the "Get Your Boots Dirty" campaign.

I serve on the boards of CARE, the global poverty-fighting organization (and inventor of the care package), OneLeap and TechSoup Global and as an advisor to BrightFunds and RevelTouch.

I received a B.A. from Harvard and live in San Francisco.

Background

Organization

Samasource

Title

Founder and Chief Executive Officer