September 24, 2020
4 Minute Read
I’ll never forget the first time I met Leila Janah. She was interviewing me and spoke excitedly about the potential of Sama achieving B Corp certification, one of her main priorities for the company. In the next breath, she talked about dominating the training data industry and catapulting Sama to claim its much-earned spot in the AI landscape.
This introduction was just the first of many conversations we would later have on the importance of sustainability, impact, and responsible hyper-growth.
I’m deeply humbled and honored to announce that, as of today, Sama is the first AI company to receive the prestigious B Corp certification. The achievement comes on the heels of completing our three-year Randomized Control Trial (RCT), which demonstrated the actualized impact of our hybrid model and continued commitment to fusing purpose and profit, both internally and externally.
“This achievement is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our entire Sama community. By securing B Corp certification and completing our RCT, we’re not only carrying Leila’s passion and commitment to impact, but we’re making a tremendous stride within the AI industry,” says Wendy Gonzalez, CEO of Sama. “I’d like to extend immense thanks to everyone who played a part in making Leila’s dream a reality.”
B Corp certification is a measurement certified by B Lab, a non-profit company that measures a company’s social and environmental performance. We received a score of 98.5, excelling in the ‘Workers' and 'Community Impact' criteria, and placing us well above the 80 points necessary to achieve B Corporation status. Of the 3,500+ Certified B Corporations, Sama is the first and only AI company recognized and joins companies such as WeTransfer, Patagonia, Hootsuite, and Ben & Jerry’s, all who use business as a force for good.
Three years ago, Leila kicked off what would become a rigorous journey towards completing a full RCT. This in-depth trial, often referred to as the "gold standard" in research, evaluated our training and employment effectiveness towards our mission of creating a sustainable pathway out of poverty. It studied three groups of individuals from similar socioeconomic backgrounds that were randomly assigned to receive either training through Sama (Group 1), training and the opportunity for employment at Sama (Group 2), or neither training nor the opportunity for employment (Control Group).
One of the trial’s main findings is that individuals who are trained and employed by Sama make higher levels of employment and earnings (Group 2). This study and subsequent completion of the RCT further validated the training programs we’ve created at Sama, an impact model that has helped 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty, increased wages by 4x, and provided over 11,000 hours of training.
Becoming B Corp certified and completing an RCT in tandem is a direct example of how our team at Sama is leveraging AI to address critical societal issues. This year has proved that making a real impact and having a mission-driven business model is what truly matters in driving the bottom line. We believe that receiving B Corp certification should be the new metric companies strive for in today’s day and age. It’s not just about chasing after unicorn status anymore, it’s about creating a successful company while creating meaningful change.
We’ve accomplished our goals in large part as a result of our supportive community, but it doesn’t stop here. We’re looking forward to continuing our commitment to making a lasting impact on the world and improving the lives of as many as possible.
Due to our hardworking team and our supportive investors, friends and family, we’ve been able to follow through on the vision and legacy created by our founder, Leila Janah.
On behalf of the entire Sama team, thanks for taking this journey with us.
Heather is passionate about bringing world-changing technologies to market and using supply chain purchasing power for good. She is a data-driven strategist experienced in developing and leading go-to-market, communications, and sustainability initiatives at start-ups and multi-national organizations. Heather is most happy when she’s growing companies that make a positive impact, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her family.