Hi Pierre, We're Neighbors!


Pierre Omidyar just made the news in Silicon Valley but its impact may be first felt closer to the Great Rift Valley. He has targeted his philanthropy on a area bustling with activity benefiting people with disabilities through innovation in the tourism industry. The mini-boom includes:

  • The maturing Inclusive Tourism ecosystem in Southern Africa
  • The release of Gordon Rattray's excellent book, "Access Africa"
  • The mobilization of South Africa's Universal Design specialists in anticipation of FIFA World Cup 2010,
  • Our preparation for Mozambique's upcoming national consultation on disability, development, and tourism

After founding one of the biggest successes in Silicon Valley history Omidyar bucked the serial entrepreneur trend and turned to angel investing and do-gooding. At the conference he announced another big move: His philanthropic investment firm, The Omidyar Network, is committing  $30 million towards backing high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa and India.

It's an interesting fill-the-gap strategy between mainstream venture capitalists looking to benefit from the emerging world's booming demographics but frequently stymied by cultural and logistical challenges and micro-loans, which the Omidyar Network has already done a good deal of in these regions.



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