For this third blogpost, I have chosen a company that has triggered my attention lately, it is called Samasource. According to Fast Company (2016), Samasource is one of the Most Innovative Companies at the moment. Personally, I agree mostly due to its social character. Samasource has the mission to fight poverty through offering work to unemployed people around the world. All in the company’s name as the meaning of Sama is equal in Sanskrit, and thus referring to a fair world. First, I will analyze the current non-profit business model of Samasource and elaborate on the unique social impact generated by the company. Then, the efficiency of the model is critically accessed, concluding with suggestions for further impact.
The business model is based on the concept impact sourcing also known as socially responsible sourcing. Processes that can be outsourced to Samasource are related to the structuring of unstructured data sets. The figure below clearly visualizes the steps taken when getting involved.
In the figure, multiple parties can be identified in the process. Therefore, the most important stakeholders and their involvement are discussed. First, clients are well-known companies as Walmart, Google, and Ebay. I believe it is a strength that these brands are doing business with Samasource as it associates trustworthiness, a large responsibility, and fair pricing. The last aspect is assumed as these clients are commercially focused, and thus participate only when prices for acting socially responsible are interesting. Then, the employees can be divided into the organizational staff and world-wide executing employees. Interestingly, the Sama Group used to be divided into two divisions, namely Samaschool and Samahope. The first clearly explaining its purpose as it provides the opportunity to low-income American community college students to improve digital skills. The latter is less self-explanatory, but it was a crowdfunding platform aiming to fund life changing treatments for women and children. However, in December 2015 the platform got acquired by Johnsen & Johnsen and therefore, it is part of Caring Crowd now. This leads to the third party, the crowd. Currently, the crowd is still part of the business model, nevertheless, only in a very passive manner by donating.
On the one hand, I truly think this business model is an outstanding idea due to the long-term social perspective on improving lives by educating and offering jobs. Moreover, the benefit trade-off for employees and clients is very high. Especially, the non-profit strategy of the company indicates fair costs for conducting the service. On the other hand, I really believe consumer involvement could be improved as the contribution of this party is very limited. Examples of interactive and active participation of the crowd would be signing up for teaching digital skills or perhaps creating a triangle where small entrepreneurs could request their datasets to be structured, the employees will work for this, and third parties could donate the wages for executing this specific task (win-win-win). Additionally, political limitations could occur in case a country’s safety decreases, affecting the company’s practices.
All in all, I believe Samasource has a long-term solution to address poverty in an equal manner. And therefore, a great example for many!