Female Role Model: Leila Janah

Leila Janah

Social Entrepreneur


Samasource, Samaschool and LXMI


To end global poverty by giving work to people in need

Leila Janah Female Role Model
leilajanah.com ©

Who was Leila Janah

Born on October 9, 1982, in Lewiston, New York, Leila Janah was the true definition of an inspirational social entrepreneur. Her parents were immigrants from India working different jobs to make both ends meet. She got her surname from her mother, Martine Janah.

Janah’s mission was to empower the most vulnerable people of the society who possessed talent but lacked resources. 

Her main driving force was the time she spent in Ghana during high school. She taught English to poor children, and she could see what it was like living in dire poverty.

Leila Janah started her first company, Samasource, in 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. The main objective was to enable the poor to earn a decent living by harnessing the power of technology. 

Samasource was originally a non-profit that focused primarily on empowering people from Africa and India with limited resources.

Samasource has worked with tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft which is proof of the authentic work that Leila and her employees did. The best part of Samasource was matching the wages to the living requirements. 

Her second venture was Samaschool. Established in San Francisco in 2013, this school was aimed at helping low-income groups learn how to earn decent wages online. Samaschool introduced talented people to the honorable world of freelancing.

In 2015 as she was walking in the streets of Uganda, Leila Janah discovered an excellent idea that could empower African women without even having to learn new skills. 

The Africans made a special butter from the nuts of Nilotica, a plant native to the Nile River Valley, including Uganda, and the Indian sub-continent. 

She came back home and founded LXMI. This is a company that sells skincare products made exclusively from the butter that comes from Nilotica nuts. 

To manufacture butter, Janah especially hired women. This shows that she had a deep love for women’s empowerment. She loved the idea of how you could help the most vulnerable people while creating a thriving business.

Leila Janah passed away on January 24, 2020, at a young age of 37 from Epithelioid Sarcoma. 

However, this does not mean the end of her noble cause. Her legacy continues with all three of her ventures expanding with every passing day helping hundreds of people put food in their plates. Leila Janah is a true inspiration for all those who have a special place for humanity deep in their hearts.

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