There’s more than one way to create a world of opportunity.
All of our work is grounded in two fundamental beliefs:
1. People are inherently capable; and
2. Given the opportunity, every individual can make a difference.
Put simply, we support businesses and nonprofit organizations that are working to provide more opportunity to more people worldwide.
We have a particular focus on entrepreneurs who share our commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today. We are focused on five key areas we believe are building blocks for prosperous, stable, and open societies: Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency, and Property Rights.
Globally, consumer Internet and mobile technologies are fundamentally transforming how people connect, share ideas, and do business. They shrink geographic boundaries and expand people’s horizons. They enable people to make more informed decisions, take action on issues that matter to them, and make the most of opportunities to improve their lives. And most importantly, they do all of this efficiently and at massive scale.
Take, for example, our investment in change.org, the world's largest online social action platform, which utilizes Internet and mobile technology to enable individuals anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change. Their innovative approach has provided people the opportunity to connect around issues of personal importance and take action that significantly improves their communities.
Education increases opportunity for all. It raises the prospects of future generations by providing a path to personal development and greater financial security, enabling people to create better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Bridge International Academies is a pioneer in providing affordable private education to families living on less than $2 a day per person. Through their innovative academy-in-a-box model, Bridge is leveraging data, technology, and scale to provide consistently high-quality schools across Kenya for as low as $5 per month.
Expanding access to safe, reliable, and affordable financial services, including savings, payments, insurance, and credit services, can create economic resiliency and opportunity for individuals no matter where in the world they live.
Lenddo is the world's first online platform that helps the emerging middle class use their social connections to build their creditworthiness and access local financial services. Unlike a traditional bank or credit bureau, Lenddo leverages one’s social community to enable access to life-improving loans, combining community-based microfinance techniques with social media data to fundamentally improve the lives of the under-banked.
By increasing government responsiveness and citizen participation, we will help build stronger and more open societies. We draw on the principles of openness and participation, favor solutions that leverage technology, and fund organizations and businesses that provide citizens with the information and tools they need to ensure their interests are represented and to hold their leaders to account.
Code for America, one of our investees, helps city governments become more transparent, connected, and efficient by connecting them with the talents of cutting-edge Web developers and designers. By using private innovation for public application, Code for America empowers citizens to access pertinent information, connect with each other on important issues, and engage with their governments in a meaningful way.
Secure rights to property and resources trigger a multiplying effect of opportunity: Social identification and inclusion. Economic stability. Better environmental stewardship. Responsible and more informed private investment that lowers socio-economic risk.
One way we are advancing these goals is through our investment in the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), which enables people in rural India to access legal rights to share, self-govern, and conserve common land. Through a holistic approach to resource management – including legal rights and financial resources for individuals, strengthening village institutions, and improving the long-term sustainability of natural resources – FES is working to build programs that will enable 1.5 million people to obtain equal land rights.
We know that traditionally, the word returns has a connotation that is reserved for purely financial investors. But here at Omidyar Network, we believe that investing in people creates a new category of returns that combines both financial and social returns. By working with our partners to provide opportunity, we are nurturing individuals’ potential to improve their own lives – which can ultimately generate positive returns for them, for their family, and for their community.