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Give Work

Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time
Narrated by: Leila Janah
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Despite trillions of dollars in Western aid, 2.8 billion people worldwide still struggle to survive every day. We need a better solution. Founder and CEO of Samasource, Leila Janah, shows that poverty is a problem we can solve - not just hope to alleviate - by giving work.

When asked if they'd rather receive aid or work, the world's poorest people will always choose work. But the world's richest countries continue to send aid, targeting the symptoms, not the causes of poverty. Western countries have the best intentions, but charity-based aid often does more harm than good, and billions of people continue to suffer.

According to Leila Janah, giving dignified, steady, fair-wage work is the most effective way to eradicate poverty. Samasource, a nonprofit she founded with the express purpose of outsourcing work from the tech industry to the bottom billions, has provided over $10 million in direct income to tens of thousands of people the world had written off, changing the trajectory of their lives for the better. Janah and her team go into the world's poorest communities - from the refugee camps of Kenya to rural Arkansas to the blighted neighborhoods of California - and train people to do digital work for companies like Google, Walmart, and Microsoft. She is making a real difference, breaking the cycle of poverty at its source.

Picking up where Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid leaves off, Give Work debunks traditional and cutting-edge aid models and offers much needed solutions. From a school for the blind in Ghana to the World Bank, Janah has tested various Give Work business models in all corners of the world. She shares the poignant stories of many who have benefited from Samasource's work and offers us a blueprint to change the world for good.

We can end extreme poverty. And in Give Work, Janah shows us how. Give work, and you give the poorest people on the planet a chance at happiness. Give work, and you give people the freedom to choose how to develop their own communities. Give work, and you create infinite possibilities.

©2017 Leila Janah (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Top of my list.

I first saw Leila on Marie Forleo and was immediately drawn to what her cause was about. Following that episode I bought the book. Leila did such a great job with the book that you feel like you're on the journey with her. So many great takeaways in the book. This is go to book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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World Changing Social Impact

I loved it, an inspiring success story about compassion, hustle and drive to transform lives.

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Inspirational, touching and addicting

Impontant topic, which was introduced through an interesting story! I loved the book and it made me really want to do my part to fight the extreme poverty and think innovative ways to bring work to all people. The story touched me and made me in tears few times. The narrator had a very pleasant and soothing voice, which I enjoyed to listen.

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What an inspiration

I couldn’t stop listening. Leila’s story, the stories of the people she met along the way, and the work she has done all blew me away.

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  • JN
  • 11-26-19

A bit confusing

Overall the concept of this book is interesting. I agree with the concept of giving people livelihoods rather than just handouts. I think this is much more effective at eliminating poverty. The writer does a good job of explaining this point in parts of the book, but has confusing moments of jumping from capitalistic concepts to socialistic. She talks in detail about how giving people training to get jobs to raise them out of poverty, but then talks about how the universal income would be a better solution. I don’t think you can have it both ways. Either you help people earn a livelihood or you give them money to do with as they please. It makes the overall tone of the book a bit confusing as she jumps from one concept to the other. Also, the author spends a significant amount of time discussing in detail how the reason poverty exist is because of certain people groups. I feel she should have spent more time discussing the issues at hand and how to move forward rather than looking backwards.Again, overall I agree with the concept of helping people by teaching them to sustain themselves and their families, and to give them a means of lifting them selves out of poverty.

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  • S. Rader
  • Houston, TX United States
  • 05-01-19

Amazing and Prophetic!

This book is a must read. What has been done here is a model for how the world needs to work. The accomplishments through Samasource are a proven demonstration of a new way of doing good AND doing business.

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Great! Showcases impact sourcing solving poverty

Leilah Janah is a very impressive person and her work over so many years is so admirable. I teach social entrepreneurship and have been a social entrepreneur myself. I had never thought of "impact sourcing" and had never considered training for digital jobs as a way to address poverty. And LXMI, her for-profit company, was more familiar: creating jobs in the developing world making artisanal products for high income countries and individuals.

Impact sourcing could be easily misused to exploit others in the name of job creation. Sometimes in the book, I couldn't tell the difference between her rhetoric and that of sweat shop peddlers pointing to job creation and that the pay may seem low but not for the local economy, etc. People should have the opportunity to be trained for digital jobs and the gig economy. A job is a job when you are poor. And I agree that a job is the best way out of poverty. But tagging images for Getty images or managing content for Facebook...these don't seem like jobs that uphold their dignity, culture and humanness. I struggled with that while in parallel admired and was inspired by Ms. Janah.

In the end, impact sourcing as practiced by Samasource is another tool in the social entrepreneurship toolbox. Microfinance, impact investing, impact sourcing, corporate bottom of the pyramid tactics, fair trade...and more are all tools. Which tool for which setting and situation? That will be the question.

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Compelling reality

I read this book in search of a model that will help create jobs for rural communities and it paid of. Though I have already started and I will definitely used some cues from this book. Thanks Leila

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Thankful

The insight and persuasiveness and elegance of Leila Janah in this book is mesmerizing. She pushes all taboos of traditional charity and help to really support people in partnership, not in pity, in hope, not in power, and in love, not in pride. Thankful for the read :)

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A true source of inspiration and guidance #Socent

"Give Work" is a masterpiece that should soon become required reading within high schools, colleges and business schools around the world. It is a "must read" for all social entrepreneurs. I first met Leila in 2009 at a conference at MIT, and more recently at an event where she was promoting her book at the Harvard Coop. I could not believe how similar our thinking was the first time I heard her speak. Coming from an underdeveloped country I can attest to how demoralizing it is to have to beg to eat and go to school or say goodbye to your loved ones and your country due to lack of money and opportunities. It is refreshing to see fearless people like Leila who embark on a mission regardless of how big and difficult it might be in order to do the kind of social good that will outlive her for centuries. This book is a great source of inspiration for social entrepreneurs who might be struggling and doubting themselves. It gives mention to a plethora of other authors and the works and lives of individuals whose stories will make you re-think your choices. Women entrepreneurs are often criticized for putting business before motherhood, but what one must understand is that no one asks to be born (at least it is not 100% evident), and that alone is enough of a reason to do with our lives whatever we please, not what society mandates. I love what I do and I OWN my choice to set myself free from expectations... Leila touches every vulnerability we have as social entrepreneurs and that made me feel like I was not alone. The book also made me aware of mistakes and bad habits... Life is good, but through social entrepreneurship, we can make it much better. Let's just do it. Thank you Leila!

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  • V. Sharma
  • 01-24-19

Fantastic Book

If you are considering social entrepreneurship, this book is a must read! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Daizy
  • 06-01-19

An incredible book by an inspiring leader

I loved reading this! Leila Janah’s story is eye opening, her persistent and relentless pursuit of making an impact is inspiring. She’s articulate, intelligent and brave - her stories are fascinating, hilarious at times and keep you gripped. The only thing I wish there was more of was personal stories.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-28-19

excellent theory + attitude to social investment

Lived it. Brlliant idea, easy to apply + positive creative options for an equitable work. Give work is not charity, give work is reciprocal positive energy flow.