Impact Investing

Effecting change at the pace and scale the world needs today requires looking beyond traditional approaches to discover new solutions that can improve the lives of many. Impact investing is one such solution.

Impact investing seeks to generate both social change and a return on capital. It ends the old dichotomy where business was seen solely as a way to make a profit, while social progress was better achieved only through philanthropy or public policy. At Omidyar Network, we define philanthropy more broadly. We believe all individuals and institutions can contribute to the well-being of society, whether they operate as a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization. Leaving the markets out of our efforts to tackle society’s most intractable problems ignores a powerful force for identifying viable solutions that can scale to help millions.

Omidyar Network employs a flexible capital model that includes impact investments alongside traditional grants. Based on our experience, impact investments are most valuable at the earliest stages of innovation. It’s a time when outcomes are the least certain and entrepreneurs need the most help. By infusing a start up with financial and human capital, we give the entrepreneur the time and resources they need to test the market viability and social impact of their model. We have a particular focus on supporting entrepreneurs who have the potential to impact entire industry sectors, demonstrating the opportunity for others to follow.

For impact investing to reach its true potential, we must also create the conditions for these ventures to take root. From industry associations to information exchanges, our investees are working to build the necessary infrastructure for a sector to thrive. We also work with key decision makers to advocate for policy changes that encourage healthy market competition, establish appropriate regulations, and encourage an environment where entrepreneurship and innovation can thrive.

Leaving the markets out of our efforts to tackle society’s most intractable problems ignores a powerful force for identifying viable solutions that can scale to help millions.

Investees

Projects

THE TEAM

Jill Macari
Director
Robynn Steffen
Director, Impact Investing

FROM THE BLOG

The Rise of DAFs: Three Reasons Why We Invested in CapShift and ImpactAssets

We see three reasons to believe in the potential of donor-advised funds to drive significant social and environmental impact and are pleased to support two organizations leading the charge to unlock the DAF market for impact.

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NEWSROOM

The Importance of Catalytic Capital

Omidyar Network’s Mike Kubzansky joins Rockefeller’s Raj Shah and MacArthur’s Julia Stasch to highlight the important role philanthropy can play in making investments in impact-oriented entrepreneurs who might otherwise not have access to sufficient capital. 

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#ImpInv

CapShift @capshiftimpact

Register now for our upcoming webinar to learn about trends in global public health and their intersection with imp… t.co/4iqvlOSfMo