Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2011 (Revised June 2012)

Samasource: Give Work, Not Aid

by Francesca Gino and Bradley R. Staats


Samasource sought to use work, not aid, for economic development. The company secured contracts for digital services from large companies in the United States and Europe, divided the work up into small pieces (called microwork) and then sent it to delivery centers in developing regions of the world for completion through a web-based interface. Different from traditional business process outsourcing companies, Samasource relied on a marginalized population of workers to execute the work. The case explores how the company can grow its capability to help individuals around the globe through the provision of digital work.

Keywords: Development Economics; Growth and Development Strategy; Social Enterprise;


Gino, Francesca, and Bradley R. Staats. "Samasource: Give Work, Not Aid." Harvard Business School Case 912-011, December 2011. (Revised June 2012.)