I am a fan and follower of Samasource. Samasource has grown and matured heavily in the last few years! Great strides made in continuing to deliver on a sustainable market offering at scale, securing huge support from large and discerning donors, and putting a huge focus on monitoring and evaluation.
I joined Samasource in 2009. Long story - I was working on oDesk, Leila was coming to Pakistan and got emails of all Pakistani providers from the oDesk management, wrote to me asking me to call her on her cell phone which I of course did and here I am. In a little over a year, I have become a VA (I was doing content writing on oDesk and didn't have a clue to what a VA was) and have started my own virtual digital firm powered by Pakistani women. My clients include such names as YPOWPO and Krups.com. I am helping other women in Pakistan who for various socio-religious reasons can not work outside the house or are not making enough money from their jobs. I have housewives and students on my team. I have a whole team of women in the rmeote Northern Areas of Pakistan working from a small IT Center doing small tasks on CrowdFlower and MTurk. The little they earn is enough to help them be independent. Being stuck in their villages due to a massive landslide (http://www.theismaili.org/cms/929/Fatal-landslide-in-Hunza-Valley-threatens-to-flood-villages), these women are happy to be able to work still. For me, I am a happier, more confident person. Coming froma family where money has never been a problem, I have always been a bit of a rebel wanting to earn for myself. Samasource has given me that opportunity and I can never thank it enough.
Having interned at a tech start-up, I must admit that Samasource feels a lot like one. Their engineering is solid, and the organization's agility is impressive. Within the first few days I've volunteering, I already felt like I could contribute directly to Samasource's mission.
I volunteered for several months at Samasource from late 2008 through early 2009. I helped them reach out to clients around the world to buy services that meant jobs for women in places like Pakistan, rural India and Kenya. The concept was new and unproven and clients had doubts about quality. But time after time they got amazing results and came back for more projects. This meant more jobs for women, youth and refugees in high unemployment areas around the world. Since then I have had the opportunity to come back in a full-time role and am really excited about the fast growing impact this organization is making. Jobs equal an amazing empowerment.
I joined Samasource after 3 years in financial consulting and have been incredibly impressed with how well the organization is run. Everyone at Samasource puts the Samasource mission first.
Through my work as a CARE USA board member and as a longtime Venture Capitalist, i found the Samasource mission to "give work" , digital work, to people in the developing world, original, timely, and with a very large opportunity to pursue. They have been executing very well, building a team, expanding their customer base and the number of people doing the work in places such as Pakistan, Kenya, and Haiti, and in refugee camps, villages and cities. The vision of the team is being realized, and this new model of a social enterprise is proving itself.
Samasource is run by a team of incredibly capable and dedicated professionals, committed to the mission of creating work for low-income people in parts of the world where they are economically and, in many cases, socially marginalized despite their talents and skills. The organization is run on a shoe string and returns outsized social impact returns on each dollar spent. This is an enterprise very worthy of investing in (with time, money etc) at this early stage as it works to scale up its business model and generate enough revenue to reinvest in operating the organization.
Samasource has a great mission in helping the underprivileged people around the world. By assisting in employment, Samasource is able to help well-educated knowledge workers earn a living wage where they would otherwise not be able to. The people who work there are also wonderful and are truly dedicated to helping others. You can see the passion and drive they have to making sure that the people they serve get the best deals possible. Overall, Samasource is just a great non-profit with a great team!
Samasource is one of the most promising startups / social enterprises I've seen. The mission and impact of the organization on individuals' livelihoods and economic opportunities is incredible. Leila and her team are also among the most passionate and committed people I've ever met!
I'm on Samasource's Board of Directors. I'm thrilled to see the kind of impact they're making. Their management took $35K in initial funding and turned it into $130K in work for small businesses in Africa. As a board member, it's satisfying to see a nonprofit that is run efficiently. Samasource's team applies the same kind of discipline we exercise in the for-profit world to the business of alleviating poverty.