The Omidyar Network has announced a three-year, $30 million commitment to support global entrepreneurship, especially in India and sub-Saharan Africa.
Announced at the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is taking place this week in New York City, the commitment will be used to support for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs striving to overcome daunting barriers to success, including scarce risk capital, poor regulatory and physical infrastructure, and a limited number of replicable models. Omidyar will focus on high-impact entrepreneurs — those with proven business models and the ability to scale their operations to serve hundreds of thousands or millions of the world's poorest individuals — with the ultimate goal of fostering a more entrepreneurial culture and improving the quality of life for more than ten million people living in extreme poverty.
The Omidyar Network chose to focus on India and sub-Saharan Africa because of the large numbers of people living in poverty there and the positive social effects that could be achieved by increased entrepreneurship, from improved access to goods and services to expanded employment opportunities.
"Imagine what's possible if entrepreneurship flourishes worldwide," said Omidyar Network managing partner Matt Bannick. "Omidyar Network aims to create opportunity for entrepreneurs to succeed. When they do, so do their families and communities. People living in poverty are often ignored by mainstream businesses. We will prioritize our support for entrepreneurs providing services and products that can improve quality of life for those most in need."