Back to the menu
Kalibrio has selected articles and events related to "Social Venture Forum" to inform, inspire and encourage to act in favor of harmonious development through Social Ventures.
If you have comments or content that you would like to submit
to the Social Venture Forum community, contact us:
Pierre Omidyar - Empower Seller
Pierre Omidyar's network funds both nonprofits and for-profits. No matter, as long as they do good. From: Issue 113 | March 2007 | Page 89 | By: Bill Breen
Pierre Omidyar turned eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) into the most successful company of the dotcom era. EBay likewise turned its founder into a multibillionaire, and in 1999, Omidyar set up a charitable foundation. But he tired of the nonprofit sector, and in 2004 he shuttered the foundation, instead launching Omidyar Network to fund both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that create social value.
In three years, Omidyar Network's model, which has invested $60 million in nonprofits and $45 million in for-profits, has been emulated by a new class of billionaire social investors. Just as eBay became a source of income for more than 1 million sellers, Omidyar hopes his mission-based fund can leverage the power of the marketplace for a new cause: to do good on a global scale.
Fast Company: What were the constraints in the nonprofit sector that pushed you to start investing in for-profit organizations?
Omidyar: One was the lack of good feedback mechanisms. How does a nonprofit know when it's doing well? If the nonprofit is not making progress and it's running out of money, its fund-raising message becomes, "Our work is not yet done, we need more capital." Whereas in the business world, you have lots of feedback mechanisms, including the discipline of the bottom line.
FC: How do you expect a for-profit organization to do good and still fulfill its core mission to make money?
Omidyar: Maximizing profit is a long-term proposition: You treat your customers well, so they stay your customers. By treating customers well because it's good for your business, you're also going to do good. I didn't start eBay to pursue the social mission of building trust, but the company's business model depended on having that effect. And there are a whole bunch of businesses like eBay, where if you're achieving a financial impact, you're also having the social impact that your business depends upon.
FC: Omidyar Network's mission, to foster "individual self-empowerment," sounds deliberately vague.
Omidyar: My strategy for addressing big challenges like AIDS, poverty, and the environment is to help more people connect and work on issues they care about, not the issues I care about. If you make that happen on a global scale, where you're leveraging the creativity of millions of people, it's far more powerful than my sitting in an office in Redwood City, stipulating how I want to address some problem.
FC: What's a recent investment that really demonstrates this mission of fostering self-empowerment, and how did you evaluate it?
Omidyar: There's an online, peer-to-peer lending business called Prosper. It follows an arbitrage model that manages risk by pooling lenders and borrowers. We looked for three organizational attributes. The first is connection--Prosper connects people through a marketplace. The second is ease of access, which Prosper has because it's on the Internet and it's transparent. Finally, there's ownership--a sense of having skin in the game. Prosper gives people a platform, but individuals self-organize into their own groups. If a borrower defaults on a loan, the pool of lenders loses the money. Early on, we didn't think many for-profit companies would fit all three criteria, but we've found more than we expected.
FC: You seem to have adopted an open-source model, whereas the Gates Foundation apparently takes a more hierarchical approach.
Omidyar: To me, open source means giving people the tools they need to do whatever they think is right, because you trust they'll generally do the right thing. It's the right model to describe what we do. But I'm not advocating that the Gateses follow this model. Because of the scale of the funds that they deploy, they have to think about these things in a very different way.
FC: The open-source model distances you somewhat from your investments' ultimate impact. How do you get a direct sense of reward?
Omidyar: It would inspire me greatly if we could bring the power of the marketplace--where individuals are pursuing their self-interests and at the same time making the world a better place--to millions of people. That's far cooler than giving a bunch of money to eradicate some disease, because what do you do after that? Ours is a long-term proposition for the next 50 years, at least.
- The Giving Pledge - Jeff Skoll
- "Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." Warren Buffett
- Giving Pledge, by Warren Buffet exporting to China (September 2010) & India (March 2011)
- The $600 billion challenge
- Graduation Speech by Jeffrey Skoll, MBA '95
- Jessica Lin is a Changemaker
- Sting wants poor children to have a ball
- Exciting News from Unitus
- Shokay June Newsletter
- One Foundation Joins Hands With Tencent For Internet Donations
- Attacking Urgent Threats? Brilliant!
- Facebook for China's Farmers
- China Mobile Allocates RMB 70B to Countryside
- Google Helps Rock The Vote In India
- Riders for Health Inks Innovative Deal in Gambia
- New Skoll Foundation Short Film on Social Entrepreneurship
- Google.org Gets More Business-Like
- Medpedia's Health Platform Could Be Just What The Doctor Ordered
- Bill Gates Wants to Help the Third World With Cellphone Banking
- Half The Sky Launches Child to Child Website
- Hooking into Kiva
- Half the Sky Partners with China Care
- Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World
- build.kiva: The Home for Kiva Developers
- The Global Social Venture Competition
- Root Causes vs. Facebook Causes
- Pamela Hartigan: The Power of Unreasonable People
- Kiva in Time Magazine Top 50 Web Site List
- The latest on online giving marketplaces
- Help Eliminate Poverty, Make a Microloan to An Entrepreneur
- YouTube Fights Global Poverty With "In My Name"
- Power To The Bottom
- TransFair's Work in Fair Trade
- Lending to the poor has rich rewards
- Grameenphone to break Bangladesh's IPO record
- "Creative Capitalism - By Bill Gates, January 24, 2008 - World Economic Forum - Davos, Switzerland"
- Creative Capitalism
- Stanford Social Innovation Review Receives $1 Million Gift
- Microsoft Increases Investments In Rural China
- Startup & Change the World: Guide for Young Social Entrepreneurs
- NYT Magazine Asks: Can Cellphones Alleviate Poverty?
- ChinasGreenBeat.com - a new "Pro-Social media for a Green China" ?
- Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?
- M-Cril plans equity exchange for `social investments`
- Discovery Acquires TreeHugger.com For $10million
- Social Fabric & Shokay in China
- Channeling India's Entrepreneurial Energy for Economic Development
- Giving It Away
- Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World
- Social Entrepreneurship Day 2008
- Google.org, Nonprofits Launching $17 Million Indian Investment Co
- A week's worth of science news
- Let My People Go Surfing
- Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition
- Smart pillbox could be a lifesaver
- Rupert Howes Leads Sea Change for World's Fisheries
- GlobalGiving Invites Nominations
- The age of ambition
- Most likely Internet Start Up to make the world a better place
- The Responsibility Paradox
- NComputing raises $28M to spread cheap computers to poor
- New Social Innovation Podcasts
- MII: Broadband Available In 92% Of Rural Areas
- White paper on energy policies issued
- China vows to develop clean energies
- The innovation PICNIC
- Giving Thanks Through Kiva
- The Six Lessons of Kiva
- A conversation with Bill Clinton
- UN, Google, Cisco unveil online resource on MDGs Monitoring
- Tencent Endows Public Charity Foundation with RMB 20 Million and Unveils Public Charity Homepage
- Kiva vs. MicroPlace - What's the Difference?
- Social Ventures ideas
- Students to manage Socially Responsible Investment Fund
- Rural Internet Users Exceed 37M
- Microfinance Fund Supports Internet Service for Rural Markets
- JUCCCE, A Plan to Meet China's Energy Challenge: Joint US-China Cooperation on Clean Energy
- China's income gap
- China's mobile maestro
- Approval For Chinese Internet Charity Foundation
- Illiteracy on the decline
- Green venture capital - a nascent corner of the growing market for socially responsible investments
- Heroes From a Small Planet Film Festival: Social Entrepreneurs Videos
- A Chinese start-up tries to grow in harsh climate
- The next big idea - by Muhammad Yunus
- An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.'s new climate strategy
- How Do You Take Your Coffee?
- Red Hat Global Desktop and Client Computing Roadmap announced
- World's Third-Richest Man Gaining Wealth
- Businesses try to make money and save the world
- China's green revolution
- The new Heroes - What is Social Entrepreneurship?
- Driving social good
- Example of project – ventures & foundation related
- Buffett's grand and generous idea may spread
- Philanthropy Google’s Way: Not the Usual
- Pierre Omidyar - Empower Seller
- Crocodyl - Collaborative Research on Corporations
- UNIDO Private Sector Development Toolbox
- Business Planet: new data map on Entrepreneurship
- How the Rich are Destroying the Earth
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Environmental projects in developing Countries
- SEED Awards 2009 for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development
- World Entrepreneurship Forum
- Cultural Creativity & Entrepreneurship - Emergence of new Social Ventures - Presentation available
- Social Venture Forum - International expansion & new chapter announcement
- Mobile Social Venture - Presentation available
- Film Social Venture - Presentation available
- Upcoming Deadlines for Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship Applications
- Skoll World Forum, March 2008
- Global Social Benefit Incubator: A $20,000 BoP Scholarship
- If you had the world's attention for a few minutes ... what story would you tell?
- Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship
- Governing Climate Change: Challenges and Strategies
- Social Venture Internship opportunities in New York, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa ... and China
- Japan-China Social Entrepreneurship
- Speeches of enterprises
- Breakfast Seminar - Social Venture - A Two Way Benefit
- A UN Conference to promote Corporate Social Responsibility in China - 29 June
- Thinking Green - July 3rd - Beijing
- Mobile Social Ventures - Presentations available
- Mobile Social Ventures | June 11
- New Ventures China Investor Forum - May 31st, 2007
- International Forum on Social Entrepreneurship
- Booz Allen Hamilton Social Venture Challenge - HK, China
- Events, Harvard & SE Business Plan
- 2007 Social Enterprise Conference