In episode 93 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Anna-Maja Björkenvall, CEO of LXMI on the impact of sustainable luxury skincare, her CEO journey, and carrying on the legacy of social entrepreneur Leila Janah.
Award-winning social entrepreneur and self-taught skincare aficionada, Leila Janah founded LXMI—Beauty for Humanity—after discovering Nilotica while in Uganda. As a value-led, not valued-added company, LXMI combines sustainable luxury skincare with a unique social and environmental mission: to Give Work.
Janah’s book, Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time, was released in 2017 by Penguin/Random House.
A pioneer in the field of impact sourcing, Janah also founded and was the CEO of Samasource, a non-profit—now social enterprise—with a vision to measurably move people out of poverty through digital work. Since its inception, Samasource has impacted the lives of over 50,000 people in developing countries around the world.
Prior to LXMI and Samasource, Janah was a Visiting Scholar with the Stanford Program on Global Justice and Australian National University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. She was founding Director of Incentives for Global Health, and a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners—now Booz & Co..
Janah, who received a BA from Harvard, was a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Director of CARE USA, a 2012 TechFellow, recipient of the inaugural Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award, and the youngest person to win a Heinz Award in 2014. Janah was one of the inaugural members of Sephora Accelerate, a cohort dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty, and named one of Fortune’s Most Promising Entrepreneurs in 2014.
Leila Janah passed away from Epithelioid Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in January 2020 at the age of 37.
Carrying on her legacy is Anna-Maja Björkenvall, CEO of LXMI. Working closely with Janah, Björkenvall joined LXMI in 2018 as the Finance & Operations Manager and later transitioned to Managing Director. In 2020 she was appointed by the Board of Directors as the new CEO.
Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Björkenvall practices healthy living from the inside out as dedicated clean beauty junkie, a mission-driven marathoner and Iron Man triathlete. A quadrilingual who has lived in four countries around the world, Björkenvall brings a deep cross-cultural expertise to LXMI. She has a lengthy background in startup management and is well-balanced with Scandinavian organization and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
As Janah trusted, Björkenvall and her team will continue to carry on the brand’s social and environmental impact missions to combat global poverty and climate change through clean beauty.
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Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 200 countries. Grant has personally interviewed over 600 impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.