Samasourcing in Africa
        Economic Opportunity Through Remote Work
              Nonprofit Technology Conference | San...
Meet Jobita.
    High school diploma and several
            certificates in IT

from Nairobi, Kenya, one of the world’s
  ...
Work cures poverty, & remote work can be done anywhere.

Home                                      Work




Bombay, India ...
But opportunities aren’t
flowing to where they’re
     needed most.



                      samasource
The Problem: staggering talent surplus in Africa

 277% of per-capita income spent
on tertiary education in some countries...
Notes from the field
                                                              “You find people completing
             ...
Global distribution of remote work
             US and India still dominate the market.

                                 ...
Why Africa is off the map

    Most remote work firms in African countries are tiny.
    Firms in Africa face numerous barr...
How nonprofits find remote work firms

    Advertising is somewhat
     effective, but costly for 19%
            small firms
...
The Solution
             Channel remote work where it’s needed most

     $160B services
                                ...
samasource
 Sama means “equal” in Sanskrit. We
are a social business helping bright but
  marginalized people in poor regi...
Screening Principles developed by
    Principle                  Purpose

       1        Get money into high poverty area...
Sales strategy

Website / Social Media   • < $5K contracts
                         • Cross-platform distribution with
   ...
Pilot results

       $140K in contracts          6+ micro-businesses

    data entry and    website
      digitization   ...
Results


              Jobita now works to
              proofread documents, a
              skill he has perfected
    ...
How we do it

  Samasource operates as a nonprofit social business.

       Raised                       Earned
      $37,5...
Case study: Daproim Africa
Location: Nairobi, Kenya


•   Run by Steve Muthee, a young entrepreneur
    from rural Kenya
•...
Case study: Preciss International
Location: Nairobi, Kenya


•   Run by two women, Mugure Mugo and Ivy
    Kimani
•   5 pe...
How you can support Samasource

•   Work with, volunteer or donate to support a Samasource partner
    •   Network of pre-...
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Nonprofit Technology Conference: Empowering the Poor Through Remote Work

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Presentation made to the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco, CA. Moderator: Barbara Kelly, Ammado; Scott Sugiura, Give2Asia; and Tracy Iseler, Accenture

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Nonprofit Technology Conference: Empowering the Poor Through Remote Work

  1. 1. Samasourcing in Africa Economic Opportunity Through Remote Work Nonprofit Technology Conference | San Francisco, CA | April 26-28, 2009 Leila Chirayath Janah source responsibly. TM Founder & CEO, Samasource
  2. 2. Meet Jobita. High school diploma and several certificates in IT from Nairobi, Kenya, one of the world’s poorest cities Eye for detail and great work ethic, but has a physical disability in a city with 60% unemployment. samasource
  3. 3. Work cures poverty, & remote work can be done anywhere. Home Work Bombay, India Bombay, India Dharavi, South Asia’s largest slum Call center floor Over 2.5M people living on 175 hectares Many of India’s 1.5M BPO workers commute from slum areas samasource
  4. 4. But opportunities aren’t flowing to where they’re needed most. samasource
  5. 5. The Problem: staggering talent surplus in Africa 277% of per-capita income spent on tertiary education in some countries + >175M skilled workers in Africa, rural India and China + 60% unemployment among university and high school graduates = Over 990,000 young people graduate annually from secondary and tertiary institutions in Ghana Talent Surplus and Kenya alone samasource
  6. 6. Notes from the field “You find people completing “The dilemma in Kenya, and Africa at large, their university education with is that the cost of education is getting so honors, and the best they high...upon finishing, you can’t get a job that can get is a one-off job doing will offer returns commensurate with what something unrelated to what you’ve done in school.” they studied. So you end up going back to the rural area Freda Adundo, IT degree candidate, Kenya where you grew up to do farming.” Peter Kimwele, business degree candidate, Kenya “It’s like the Western countries are missing a generation which they want to import from Africa...our economy and our brains are in America. Why can’t people earn an income while they stay here?” Martin Ntembe, business degree candidate, Kenya samasource
  7. 7. Global distribution of remote work US and India still dominate the market. Eastern Europe USA $3.3B $90B China & Southeast Asia $3.1B Latin America & India Caribbean $17B $2.9B Middle East & Africa $425M samasource
  8. 8. Why Africa is off the map Most remote work firms in African countries are tiny. Firms in Africa face numerous barriers to scale, including distribution of talent and infrastructure. They may be more expensive. Nonexistent or very costly payment systems, poor private training options, and higher infrastructure/ transaction costs than larger companies. Reputation challenges abound. Most remote work comes from the West. How do you market yourself to clients if you have no professional network or presence there? samasource
  9. 9. How nonprofits find remote work firms Advertising is somewhat effective, but costly for 19% small firms Most buyers use personal and professional 10% Web searches and referrals direct mail seldom connect service providers to clients 5% 67% samasource
  10. 10. The Solution Channel remote work where it’s needed most $160B services Small firms Marginalized people industry $$$ a small slice of the pie talented workers with companies in the poorest few opportunities places samasource
  11. 11. samasource Sama means “equal” in Sanskrit. We are a social business helping bright but marginalized people in poor regions find dignified jobs by expanding their access to markets. Our method has three parts: screen train market + select
  12. 12. Screening Principles developed by Principle Purpose 1 Get money into high poverty areas 2 Keep money in high poverty areas 3 Keep money in good companies Responsible business Service providers + Buyers Academics Industry Consultants samasource
  13. 13. Sales strategy Website / Social Media • < $5K contracts • Cross-platform distribution with oDesk, Elance, other partners • Traffic driven through video marketing, Facebook, Twitter, free ad campaigns Sales Team • $10K-$100K contracts • RFPs and word of mouth • Web-based RFP searches, conferences, personal connections (e.g., Benetech) samasource
  14. 14. Pilot results $140K in contracts 6+ micro-businesses data entry and website digitization packages image app testing moderation video content captioning updating research virtual assistance assistance samasource
  15. 15. Results Jobita now works to proofread documents, a skill he has perfected thanks to his excellent eye + for detail. He participates in training and enrichment activities with other recent graduates.
  16. 16. How we do it Samasource operates as a nonprofit social business. Raised Earned $37,500 $140,000 85-90% of earnings All-volunteer staff to directly to our Donated hardware partners and software 45-85% of their Frugal to the core revenue supports staff salaries, training, and other costs samasource
  17. 17. Case study: Daproim Africa Location: Nairobi, Kenya • Run by Steve Muthee, a young entrepreneur from rural Kenya • 4 people in 2006 > 15 people now • Types of services: form and survey processing, transcription, digitization, web development • Offers part-time work to local university students and facilities for disabled workers • In pipeline: projects for clients including Benetech, a Bay Area nonprofit, and the African Braille Center samasource
  18. 18. Case study: Preciss International Location: Nairobi, Kenya • Run by two women, Mugure Mugo and Ivy Kimani • 5 people in 2002 > 20 now • Types of services: online research, data processing, subtitling, transcription • Offers part-time work and on-site training to university students, young mothers and recent graduates • 30% of revenue goes to floor employees • In pipeline: projects between $10K and $100K for clients in the US and UK samasource
  19. 19. How you can support Samasource • Work with, volunteer or donate to support a Samasource partner • Network of pre-screened businesses with few opportunities • Low-cost, high quality services • Join the discussion. Places to learn more: • samasource.org + blog • Samasource groups on oDesk, Facebook, LinkedIn • Sign or pledge support for the Code of Conduct • Share your work with others in the nonprofit community samasource

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