Samasource Becomes First AI Company to Receive B Corporation Certification

By: WebWire

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (September 24, 2020) -- Samasource, the company providing high-quality training data and model validation software and solutions to over 25% of the Fortune 50, proudly announced its B Corporation Certification and preliminary results from its three-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) today. The developments carry forward Samasource founder Leila Janah's vision and commitment to impact since its founding over a decade ago.

Blending Purpose and Profit: Achieving B Corporation Certification 

Of the 3,500+ Certified B Corporations, Samasource is the first and only AI company recognized. The certification recognizes Samasource's decade-long commitment to social good as it joins companies such as WeTransfer, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry's and Hootsuite in a united effort to combine purpose and profit to implement long-term ethical and sustainable business practices that drive the bottom line. 

“Samasource's visionary and founder, Leila Janah, had a long-term goal for Samasource to become a B Corp,” said Wendy Gonzalez, Interim CEO at Samasource. “Today marks a major milestone in which we are fulfilling this dream, while also releasing the results of our Randomized Control Trial, reaffirming the effectiveness of our impact-led business model, training and employment programs, and solidifying our commitment to operating ethically and responsibly to improve people's lives globally.”

Following eight months of data collection and collaboration with B Lab, Samasource received a score of 98.5, placing it well above the 80 points necessary to achieve B Corporation status. A reflection of its efforts hiring over 90% of its workforce from underserved populations, including unemployed urban and rural youth, and paying living wages, Samasource excelled in the certification's 'Workers' and 'Community Impact' criteria. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Samasource into the global family of Certified B Corporations not just for its commitments to positive impact at the company, but also its dedication to empowering people around the world to use business as a force for good,” said Andy Fyfe, Sr. Manager, B Corp Growth. “They're paving the way for the rest of the tech industry to follow."

Evaluating an Impact-Led Business Model 

Samasource has also completed a comprehensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) that evaluated the success of its impact-model towards its mission of creating sustainable pathways out of poverty. In 2016, Impact Matters, a third-party organization that assesses the impact of social programs, conducted a rigorous audit of Samasource's mission, monitoring and evaluation system, and overall impact. The audit found that Samasource's impact measurement system was robust but could benefit from comparison against a counterfactual, and in early 2017, the company, in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, launched its RCT. 

In order to study the impact of Samasource training and employment on individuals' long term employment status and earnings, three groups of individuals from similar socioeconomic backgrounds were randomly assigned to receive either training through Samasource (Group 1), training and the opportunity for employment at Samasource (Group 2) or neither training nor the opportunity for employment (Control Group). 

Throughout the study, those in Group 2 reported significantly higher employment rates and earnings than the Control Group. By the study's end, Group 2's unemployment rates were 10% lower and wages were, on average, more than 25% higher than the group that received neither training nor the opportunity for employment (Control Group). Training and the chance to work at Samasource had a particularly significant effect on women as their earnings at the end of the study were more than 30% higher than the Control Group. At the end of the study, the individuals in Group 1 were also earning more than the Control group. The effects for those in Group 1, however, were more muted, potentially because those who received training through Samasource were holding out for a job that allowed them to use their acquired skills. 

Responsible for overseeing the company's sustainability efforts, Samasource's VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Heather Gadonniex said, “Becoming B Corp Certified not only demonstrates where our values lie as a company, but reinforces our willingness to be transparent in our work and reminds us of how we can always do better.”

Since its inception, Samasource has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty, increased wages of workers up to 4x, and provided over 11,000 hours of training. With a 50% female workforce, Samasource is determined to provide women in historically underserved regions such as Kenya and Uganda with unprecedented opportunities to advance their careers in technology while supporting their families. 

Since transitioning from a non-profit to a majority-profit business in 2019, Samasource has continued to leverage its expert team and technology to address critical societal issues through AI, while increasing its revenue by 134% to $25 million in the past three years. Earlier this year, the company was selected as one of Fast Company's World Changing Ideas for its wildlife conservation partnership with Vulcan and was recognized on this year's Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

For more information about the company's B Corp recognition and its RCT, please visit the Samasource blog

About Samasource

Samasource is the trusted, high-quality training data and validation provider for over 25% of the Fortune 50 companies such as Walmart, Google, and Microsoft. Founded over a decade ago, our experts specialize in image, video and sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms in industries including autonomous transportation, communications media and entertainment, e-commerce, retail, and biotech. Driven by a mission to expand opportunities for low-income people through the digital economy, our social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty. For more information, visit www.samasource.com

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab's initiatives include B Corp Certification, administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation. B Lab's vision is of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet. To date, there are over 3,000 Certified B Corps in 150 industries and 70 countries, and over 70,000 companies use the B Impact Assessment. Visit bcorporation.net for more information.

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