SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Samasource today announced that it has successfully closed a $7.5 million philanthropic funding round led by The MasterCard Foundation with participation from existing funders, including the California Endowment, the U.S. Department of State and the Dutch Postcode Lottery/Oxfam Novib. This funding will be used to create technology-enabled jobs for thousands of youth globally, to continue to develop Samasource's robust technology platform, the SamaHub, and to support expansion of the organization's microwork model into low-income communities in Gulu, Uganda and California.
"We are grateful to receive this investment from some of the world's leading philanthropic funders," said Leila Janah, founder & CEO of Samasource. "The capital generously provided enables us to serve more marginalized women and youth than ever before and expand into new areas, including the United States. With this support, we will dramatically change the lives of thousands of poor women and youth by providing them with what they want most—paying work."
To date, Samasource has connected more than 3,000 marginalized people in nine countries to paying work—totaling over $2 million in wages. Samasource's award-winning microwork model brings free, specialized technology training and paid digital work to poor women and youth around the world. This enables people to gain skills, earn a living wage and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. 75% of Samasource workers move up to higher-paying work or higher education.
The MasterCard Foundation is leading this round with an investment of nearly $5.3 million. This will allow Samasource to significantly broaden its impact by developing additional features to scale its proprietary microwork platform, the SamaHub. The funding will also support Samasource's network of delivery partners to train 10,000 East African youth, and provide direct employment to over 4,000 young people living in slums and peri-urban areas in Kenya and Uganda.
The new investment round will also support the landmark opening of Samasource's first domestic program, SamaUSA, which will train low-income students to support themselves through online work. Starting in northern California with funding from The California Endowment, SamaUSA is designed to equip marginalized people in California with new technology skills and link successful program graduates to jobs on online work platforms as a strategy to improve their health and well being through earned income. "Recent studies show contingent work is growing three to four times faster than traditional work. Contingent workers will eventually make up 25% of the global workforce and many of these jobs will be online. SamaUSA fills a gap in the job training space by offering training that taps into a vast and growing market need," said Leila Janah. This move signifies Samasource's commitment to spurring job creation in the United States during an increasingly difficult time for young people to find work. According to a recent U.S. employment report, job growth has gained an average of 97,000 jobs per month for the last six months, which is typically not enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force. SamaUSA is set to open in early 2013.
About Samasource, Inc.
Samasource delivers enterprise digital services through a unique microwork model that harnesses the untapped potential of the world's poor. Founded in 2008 by CEO, Leila Janah, Samasource is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, Samasource operates out of Nairobi, Kenya and connects poor women and youth to paying work in countries around the world, including Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda. For more information on impact or services, visit http://samasource.org.