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  • Give Work

  • Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time
  • By: Leila Janah
  • Narrated by: Leila Janah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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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

Critic reviews

“An audacious, inspiring, and practical book about how to drive meaningful change. Leila shows how it’s possible to build a successful business that lifts people out of poverty - not by giving them money but by giving them work. It’s required reading for anyone who’s passionate about solving real problems.” (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Originals, coauthor [with Sheryl Sandberg] of Option B)

“Living-wage digital work targeted to the world’s poorest people is a transformational force for good. Leila’s pioneering work in this realm is as instructive as it is inspiring. An essential read!” (Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn; coauthor of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age)

"Leila Janah’s new book is a call to action to focus on the poor not as passive recipients waiting for charity but as full human beings wanting to solve their own problems. She reminds us through powerful examples that we can all do more to enable human flourishing. And so we must.” (Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen)  

What listeners say about Give Work

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A real must!

I feel truly inspired by the way Laila Janah was willing to go to all extends possible to create sustainable ways to improve the lives of others and reduce poverty one person at a time, one place at a time. Having so much information and documentation about this process makes it all look way less idealised and it encourages all to take action towards her same goal.
I recommend this book to literally everyone!

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What an amazing book

This is one of those books everyone should read. If we are to eradicate extreme poverty during our life times, we need to give work and provide sustainable income the the people who currently don’t have that opportunity.

On top of the important message it delivers, it is also a well written and engaging book.

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Inspirational and what the world needs now.

I ended the book in tears. Everything up until that point was pure power. No one person is perfect, but the author clearly gave everything she had with the precious few breaths our lives are bestowed with.

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Fantastic Book

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

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  • Sandra
  • 14-04-18

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.

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  • Bryant Newbrough
  • 04-04-18

World Changing Social Impact

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-02-18

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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  • Elizabeth A Sargent
  • 23-09-21

Please read this wonderful book and then change the world !!

This book is totally life changing and a pleasure to read !! What an experience!! I totally recommend it !!

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  • Dukane R.
  • 10-04-21

Inspirational

Loved it, she will be remembered. A life that was lived to the fullest. Give work.

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  • Gelane
  • 02-02-20

The best book I ever read.

The biggest lost to this world
not to have Leila Janah.
I must say it is one of the SADDEST day of my life.
The most INCREDIBLE AMAZING, TALENTED, LOVING HUMAN BEING can just die just like that. If you want to make a difference in this world you must read this book.
Bless Your Soul My Sister
WE LOVE YOU
NAMASTE 😭🙏

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  • Lynn Thames
  • 01-12-19

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
  • 26-11-19

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
  • 01-05-19

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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  • Erik Foley
  • 26-04-19

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.