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Episode 52- Leila Janah on Reversing Poverty One Job At A Time

November 29, 2018 • Book Club
Leila Janah

This episode was aired on November 29, 2018. Leila tragically passed away at the early age of 37 on January 24, 2020 due to complications from epithelioid sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer. You can read more here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Leila and her family.


Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI, two companies that go beyond charity to give work to low-income people around the world to generate life-changing income. Leila is the author of the book Give Work. She was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list and honored as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Women in Tech. On this episode, we talk about what’s broken about the traditional charity model, the biggest challenges she’s faced as a young entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and how to reverse poverty one job at a time.

Show Notes

  • How a trip to Ghana at age 17 inspired the idea for Samasource (1:37)
  • What is Samasource? (4:45)
  • Why giving work is a more effective model than the traditional charity model (5:20)
  • An example of how the giving work model works (9:19)
  • The Samaschool training model in the United States (13:50)
  • The most important trait entrepreneurs must develop to succeed (17:08)
  • How she was able to persevere as an entrepreneur (19:57)
  • Why it’s important to integrate profit and purpose (26:49)
  • How she manages her energy (30:29)
  • Leila’s book, “Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job At A Time” (35:11)

Resources / People Mentioned

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