Find Out More about The League of Extraordinary Women – First of the Series

In July I wrote an article mentioning women who helped other women. I came across the article about the League of Extraordinary Women and how these different companies helped other women in some way, shape or form. I thought it would be interesting to look in to these companies a bit more, so this is the first in a series of posts highlighting some of the companies that are included in the League of Extraordinary Women.

First in the series

Samasource is an innovative social business that connects women and youth living in poverty to dignified work via the internet. Since the online world has opened up a great level of opportunity for many people around the world lots of companies and even individuals and budding entrepreneurs in countries with increasing internet infrastructure rely on the internet to get their jobs going. This company has taken advantage of that fast growing trend, which has created a need to connect work with the workers.

Samasource became the hub or the gateway between large companies and people in the poverty stricken area of Nairobi, Kenya and other countries such as India, Haiti, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda. They have established partnership with large corporations such as Google, The California Endowment, Cisco Systems Foundation, Ebay Foundation, Flora Family Foundation and Ford Foundation.

How do they work?

They realized a major problem was that there is a global shortfall of 1.8 billion formal jobs. That means if 3 billion people are seeking formal work (most of them may already be working in the basic agriculture industry or domestic services) then 60% wouldn’t be able to find one.

People in the developing countries or the third world countries are usually working in the agriculture sector or domestic services, where they do not really have the opportunity to have advancements in their career or choice of work. Without an opportunity for advancement, it is difficult to advance the economic system and be pulled out of the cycle of poverty.

Samasource provides training to these people in the technology field. Additionally, they are also taught basic English skills so that there is smooth communications between partners and clients. After training, these individuals are able to perform simple small tasks (known as microworking) which are increasing in demand.

With proper training and guidance, these people who never thought they would be able to access a computer (or might have never heard of the internet!) will learn how to use it as a tool for work and earning a decent living. Additionally, this type of work empowers people to build their confidence that they can do something other than what most people in their country do. With these new opportunities, they are shown a path to success, which can be as simple as sending themselves or their siblings to school, or even just being able to serve food on their table three times a day.

I’m trying to help too

Samasource is continuing to take on partner organizations in the countries I’ve mentioned above. I have contacted them to find out more about the requirements as I have a connection with a group in Adidome, Ghana that is looking to improve the utilization of an internet café for the school and community. There are a set of criteria which the on-site organizations and facilities must meet, which includes:
• Working only with established centers with at least one year of operational experience
• Strong management, infrastructure, and ability to provide quality output

The organization in Adidome is not yet at that level, but I will be following Samasource to see if the two groups can be connected some time in the future.

Can you find a way to be of help too?

About Tamra Johnson

I’m an entrepreneur and a recent MBA graduate from UCLA Anderson. I have 10 years of experience in IT Management and Systems Engineering. I love learning, helping others, exploring the world around me, running at the beach, going to concerts, and visiting family and friends. I grew up in Helotes, Texas, went to undergrad in Cambridge, MA, and now live in Venice, CA.
This entry was posted in Networks, Startup, Technology, Women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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