Thursday, 19 May 2011

POVERTY: Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. We invest in and help scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change.
eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam established Omidyar Network based on their conviction that every person has the power to make a difference. Our work enables people to discover that power, improve their own lives, and make lasting contributions to their communities.
The formation of Omidyar Network was inspired by Pierre’s experience at eBay, which he founded in 1995 based on his beliefs in the potential of individuals and the power of markets. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave everyone equal access to information, opportunity, and the tools to pursue their goals. eBay allowed people to connect with others over shared interests and provided them incentives, like public feedback, to engage constructively with trading partners, thereby owning their marketplace reputation and ultimate success.
Those principles of access, connection, and ownership influenced the Omidyars’ approach to philanthropy. While eBay was still a young company, Pierre and Pam co-founded The Omidyar Foundation to support nonprofits. Watching eBay scale in size and social impact solidified their understanding that business could also be an effective tool for making the world a better place. In response, they broadened their scope to form Omidyar Network, which makes investments in for-profit companies as well as grants to nonprofit organizations, with social impact being the unifying criterion for investment.
We support organizations whose market-based approach has the capacity for large-scale, catalytic impact. The cornerstones of our investment focus are economic advancement and individual participation, which we pursue through two broad initiatives: Access to Capital and Media, Markets & Transparency.
Because we are inspired by people’s resourcefulness, ideas, and ability to address even the world’s most challenging problems, we believe that no matter what their economic, social, or political starting point, people everywhere can be empowered to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.

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