Omidyar Network Awards $9 Million to Unitus to Help Millions of Working Poor

Omidyar Network Awards $9 Million to Unitus to Help Millions of Working Poor

The Omidyar Network in Redwood City, California, has announced a three-year, $9 million grant to Seattle-based Unitus to expand the worldwide availability of financial services to the poor.

Unitus, which works to accelerate access to microfinance, will use the grant to increase its portfolio of start-up and early-stage microfinance institutions in developing countries and expand into several new regions. The expansion is intended to help the organization's MFI partners strengthen and grow their businesses while Unitus provides financial services to millions of individuals currently excluded from the formal economic system. Currently, more than three billion people — half the world's population — live on less than $2 a day, yet only 133 million of those people have access to microfinance services.

"When Omidyar Network participated in the Unitus Leadership Summit last year in the Philippines, Pierre [Omidyar] and I were impressed by the energy and enthusiasm with which Unitus and its partners are extending the reach of microfinance and transforming the lives of the poor," said Omidyar Network managing partner Matt Bannick. "When we look at the incredible results that Unitus and its partners have achieved over the past six years, we are thrilled to continue to support, scale, and champion these innovative organizations as they seek to maximize social impact."