leila janah’s give work – a must read for social entrepreneurs

I often think about the spaces between capitalism and humanity.

One founded on individualism, ego and progress. The other on love, sacrifice and faith.

Then there’s this strange world of money, a currency we’ve created to hold “value” and has so much power.

Yet this money seems to allude the creatives, teachers, nurses, activists, social justice workers and social entrepreneurs.

We need to think deeply about the underlying factors that contribute to this – our attitude & the system. Today for the beginning of #SouthAsianHeritageMonth I want to amplify the voice of Leila Janah who dedicated her life to alleviating poverty but also to thinking deeply about this topic.

It broke my heart when she passed away last year at 38. But her work lives on, her companies continue to alleviate poverty and her book Give Work is one I cherish.

Here’s a review I wrote a while back when I first picked up the book – An incredible must-read book for those looking at solutions to alleviate poverty, Leila’s story from cleaning wealthy kids dorm rooms at Harvard to leading Samasource and LXMI are inspiring. She shares candidly her experience and offers wonderful wisdom through powerful storytelling, this book was one of my favorite reads in 2018 on making the world a better place. Also I want to comment on how rare books by Indian / South Asian women are – I commend Leila for generously sharing stories of her social impact work and secondly for being one of the few to set an example of a fantastic role model.

You can get your hands on the audiobook here (which is beautifully narrated by Leila herself) or the hardcover here (Australia) or India here, unfortunately, no paperback is available so it is a little more expensive. If you end up buying it from these links, you automatically make a $1-$2 donation to Australian South Asian Centre. I established the Centre in 2020 to amplify the voices of South Asian women who are creatives, founders and leaders.