In a Push for Financial Inclusion, the eBay Foundation and a Focus on Entrepreneurs
Monday, August 10, 2015
Pierre Omidyar established the eBay Foundation in 1998 with an endowment of pre-IPO eBay stock. The foundation has always been modest in size, which is probably why we haven’t written about it before. It had assets of $30 milllion in a recent year, and gives out between $3 million and $5 million annually to a limited set of grantees.
But what’s interesting about the eBay Foundation is that, like the Omidyar Network, it has long blended traditional philanthropy and a venture investing model, with an eye toward backing scalable efforts at social change that can become financially sustainable over time.
Of course, this is an approach that a great many funders are embracing these days.
One main area of interest at the eBay Foundation is creating economic opportunities in the U.S. and emerging markets. It pursues this goal mainly by supporting small business growth and financial inclusion. Recently, the foundation teamed up with Village Capital to advance financial inclusion, focusing specifically on the world’s unbanked population.