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.




Chris Jurgens
Director, Impact Investing
Christopher Keefe
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Jill Macari
Libby Smiley
Director, Marketing & Communications
McKenzie Smith
Program Manager, Impact Investing
Robynn Steffen
Director, Impact Investing


There’s More Than One Missing Middle: Segmenting small and growing businesses by their financing needs

By segmenting the small and growing businesses market into multiple “missing middles,” we aim to more effectively diagnose the distinct financing needs and gaps faced by different types of enterprises, and in turn better focus on scaling the financing solutions that are most needed to empower enterprises of all types to meaningfully contribute to inclusive economic growth.



New Series Offers Impact Investors Diverse Approaches to Investing Across the Continuum

Earlier today, at the GIIN Investor Forum 2018, Omidyar Network launched Beyond Trade-offs, a curated series of perspectives from leading impact investors on how they balance risk, returns, and impact in their portfolios.



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