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Kenya - Africa

Connecting idle talent to digital opportunities

BESTSELLER FOUNDATION has partnered with Samasource Kenya to lift more people out of poverty by connecting them to digital work opportunities - and giving them a chance to create a better future for themselves .

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Jobs & Entrepreneurship
Project
Connecting idle talent to digital opportunities
Location
Kenya Africa
Budget
N/A
Type
Loan
Partner
Samasource Kenya
Period
Feb 2017 Ongoing

Giving talent from poor areas in countries in the developing world an opportunity is core to Samasource’s strategy for mapping a pathway out of poverty.  And the pathway is digital.

Through the partnership with BESTSELLER FOUNDATION, the Samasource Kenya delivery center in Nairobi will get an additional 80 workstations – and bring the total number of workstations from 210 to 290. With 2.4 shifts per day it means that almost 200 additional young talents can be taken in and offered a job and a living wage. 

The work at the Samasource delivery center consists of data processing projects such as image optimization and classification, creating datasets for algorithms, enhancing data and turning content into data. Examples of clients are companies such as eBay, Google, TripAdvisor, Marriot, Walmart, Yahoo and many more. According to Samasource the investment by BESTSELLER FOUNDATION will enable Samasource to meet some of the demand but further expansions are already in the pipeline – the market for this type of work is far from saturated.

 We hope to build a strong relationship with Samasource and play a role in deepening and expanding the impact it makes around the world 

Samasource was founded in 2008 as a social enterprise with the aim of connecting people at the bottom of the pyramid to dignified digital work. Samasource US is based in San Francisco and has been instrumental in creating awareness about Samasource’s model and thereby securing a steady flow of data projects for the delivery centers. Samasource broke even in 2016 and is now able to invest revenue into programs for its agents.

BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s director, Kristian Sloth Petersen, says that Samasource’s success of making a social enterprise financially sustainable while growing the social impact is a perfect scenario for an investment, “It is great to meet a company that in so many ways matches BESTSELLER FOUNDATION’s philosophy of creating positive social change and development that is sustained by a profitable business model. We hope to build a strong relationship with Samasource and play a role in deepening and expanding the impact it makes around the world.” 

Samasource's CFO, Tony MacDonald, says that adding a partner that is mission aligned and visionary will help support Samasrouce's expansion plans and adds; "The team is very excited to work with BESTSELLER FOUNDATION as a global thought partner and we look forward to jointly expanding our impact across the world." 

Since it was founded in 2008 Samasource has employed over 8,000 young men and women from low-income areas in Haiti, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and India. Samasource agents in Nairobi, Kenya are trained through the Samasource Digital Basics Training program.
At the trainings, participants are taught basic computer skills and financial literacy and they receive career guidance and are offered insights into entrepreneurship. After completing the training successfully, trainees can be linked to a Samasource delivery center where they are offered a job and a salary.

Helen Wairimu is 22 years old and has been with Samasource Kenya for one year. After completing the Samasource Digital Basics Training  program,  she started working at the Samasource delivery center in Nairobi. For several months she has been the top performer at the delivery center where she still works – and her earnings have made her the financial rock in her family. She has been supporting her parents and she also pays school fees for a cousin.

She’s inspired by the relatively flat structure and the mutual respect among colleagues and superiors and says that it’s a dignified job. She’s particularly intrigued by the management style at the Samasource delivery center and hopes to rise to the position of team leader. Building on the skills and experience she has gained with Samasource she plans to start school in the evenings and eventually get a higher diploma in animation.




The average young person who joins the Samasource Digital Basics Training program is 25 years old and only 1 in 10 comes from formal employment.

Before coming to the program they survive on $2.20 per day on average.

Three years after joining Samasource the daily average income has just about quadrupled to $8.15 for the 85% who remain in formal employment or are furthering their education (or a combination). 

Kenya - Africa

Kenya  is a country in Eastern Africa. 

The country is located on the equator with the Indian Ocean to the south-east and is bordered by Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east.

 The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. Agriculture is a major employer; the country exports tea and coffee and  fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is also a major economic driver.