eBay and Samasource: Partnering for Change
By: Lauren Moore
The holidays are always a time to pause and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for. Here at eBay Foundation we certainly have a lot to be pleased about! Over the past year, we’ve worked hard (and had a lot of fun) bringing The Opportunity Project to life and while we’re happy with everything we’ve accomplished so far, we know we couldn’t have done it alone. This holiday season, we’re grateful for our incredible partners, each individually leading important and innovative work, and the exciting collaborations we drive together.
We have recently welcomed another pioneering organization to our roster of partners. In addition to Ashoka Changemakers, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and the Clinton Global Initiative, we have partnered with Samasource, a nonprofit that connects people living in poverty to work via the Internet.
Founded in 2008 by social entrepreneur Leila Janah, Samasource connects more than 1,500 women, youth, and refugees in the poorest parts of the world to microwork—small tasks like content services, data enrichment and transcription that can be done online using inexpensive computers. Through the microwork concept, marginalized people around the world have a chance to earn a living. At the same time, Samasource assists local entrepreneurs in running microwork centers, helping to grow a new pool of business talent across the developing world. Over the last year and a half, Samasource has closed contracts from firms including Intuit, Google, LinkedIn, and the U.S. State Department, and paid out more than $1 million to workers.
As a marketplace comprised of millions of individual online entrepreneurs, we at eBay have been impressed with the work Samasource is doing to bring jobs to some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals and, in particular, the way in which the organization is leveraging technology to deliver impact. Through a proprietary web application called the SamaHub, Samasource is able to securely distribute microwork tasks to its global delivery centers and, in turn, expand access to economic opportunities to vulnerable, disadvantaged populations across the globe.
In Samasource we see a unique combination of social and technological innovations that in just a few short years is already helping redefine the way business, government and society are thinking about economic development. Our collaboration with Samasource, currently focused on expanding the organization’s work in India, is only just beginning. By coming together, eBay Foundation and Samasource will be able to bring more computer-based work to disadvantaged populations in India, and offer them the opportunity to participate in the economy, provide for their families and strengthen their communities.
We are thankful for all our partners and we’re excited for everything that is yet to come as a result of our collaborations. Stay tuned as we continue to make progress together.