Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time
Want to end poverty for good? Entrepreneur and Samasource founder Leila Janah has the solution—give work, not aid.
“An audacious, inspiring, and practical book. Leila shows how it’s possible to build a successful business that lifts people out of poverty—not by giving them money but by giving them work. It’s required reading for anyone who’s passionate about solving real problems.” —Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Originals
Despite trillions of dollars in Western aid, 2.8 billion people worldwide still struggle in abject poverty. Yet the world’s richest countries continue to send money—mostly to governments—targeting the symptoms, rather than the root causes of poverty. We need a better solution.
In Give Work, Leila Janah offers a much-needed solution to solving poverty: incentivize everyone from entrepreneurs to big companies to give dignified, steady, fair-wage work to low-income people. Her social business, Samasource, connects people living below the poverty line—on roughly $2 a day—to digital work for major tech companies. To date, the organization has provided over $10 million in direct income to tens of thousands of people the world had written off, dramatically altering the trajectory of entire communities for the better.
Janah and her team go into the world’s poorest regions—from refugee camps in Kenya to the Mississippi Delta in Arkansas—and train people to do digital work for companies like Google, Walmart, and Microsoft. Janah has tested various Give Work business models in all corners of the world. She shares poignant stories of people who have benefited from Samasource’s work, where and why it hasn’t worked, and offers a blueprint to fight poverty with an evidence-based, economically sustainable model.
We can end extreme poverty in our lifetimes. Give work, and you give the poorest people on the planet a chance at happiness. Give work, and you give people the freedom to choose how to develop their own communities. Give work, and you create infinite possibilities.
“An audacious, inspiring, and practical book about how to drive meaningful change. Leila shows how it’s possible to build a successful business that lifts people out of poverty—not by giving them money but by giving them work. It’s required reading for anyone who’s passionate about solving real problems.”
—Adam Grant, author of Give and Take andOriginals; coauthor (with Sheryl Sandberg) ofOption B
“Living-wage digital work targeted to the world’s poorest people is a transformational force for good. Leila’s pioneering work in this realm is as instructive as it is inspiring. An essential read!”
—Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn; coauthor of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
“Leila Janah’s new book is a call to action to focus on the poor not as passive recipients waiting for charity but as full human beings wanting to solve their own problems. She reminds us through powerful examples that we can all do more to enable human flourishing. And so we must.”
—Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen
“Leila Janah’s journey shows how a passion for bringing people out of poverty, a focus on education and living-wage jobs, and an entrepreneurial spirit can change the world for the better. Give Work is an honest, inspirational guide that every business can follow to create positive social impact.”
—Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce
“ Give Work is required reading for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.”
—Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
“A provocative book that challenges while offering hope and a big vision for tapping the full potential of the poor in a globally interdependent world. In the process, Leila powerfully points to the possibility of overcoming poverty and unleashing an extraordinary force for good.”
—Michelle Nunn, CEO, CARE
About the Author
Leila Janah was the founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI. Her life’s mission was to fight poverty by supplying career opportunities to low-income people around the world. She was named one of Condé Nast’s Daring 25 and Elle’s 2016 Top Women in Tech, and Samasource was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016. Give Work was her first book.