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Leila Janah dies at 37

Leila Janah dies at 37

Leila Janah, American entrepreneur and creator of the cosmetics brand LXMI, dies at the age of 37.

By Evelyne Resnick


Leila Janah’s professional and personal journey ended prematurely on January 24 when a rare form of cancer got the better of her zest for life, her passion for entrepreneurship and its generosity towards the most disadvantaged.


Nicknamed the “Chanel of social impact” by the prestigious Forbes magazine, Leila Janah was born in the United States into a family of Indian emigrants. During her studies, she went to teach English to children in Ghana and discovered poverty.


This will be the trigger for his career. She understands that countries that cannot offer their citizens professional opportunities are a pool of talent to develop.


She then created Samasource, which trains men and women in the digital and AI professions, giving 50,000 people a professional future, mainly in India and Africa.


In 2013, she launched Samaschool, an association which enables people in difficulty in the United States to find the skills necessary for their professional integration.


In 2015, a new entrepreneurial adventure with the creation of its cosmetic line LXMI (Lux-Me), specializing in skin care based on natural and organic products. The idea came to her in Uganda when she discovered the benefits of the Nilotica plant


LXMI mainly recruits Ugandan women, thus giving them a job and a qualification professional.


LXMI was selected by Sephora, as part of its “Accelerate Cohort” program for women starting their own business in the world of cosmetics. LXMI has also developed in Suriname, South Africa and Kenya.

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In 2017, Leila meets her future husband, Tassilo Festetics. Together they travel the world and try to improve it while Leila continues to develop her businesses, raising 14 millions of dollars for Samasource and transforming it into a foundation.


In May 2019, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer but remained in charge of her businesses. Her friend and right-hand man, Wendy Gonzalez, COO of Samasource, is interim head of Leila’s businesses.


Leila Janah’s work will continue: to provide training and work to economically disadvantaged but culturally advanced populations thanks to new technologies and Artificial Intelligence.




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