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Omidyar to Support Small to Medium Enterprise in Developing World

Omidyar Network, a mission-based organization established by Pierre and Pam Omidyar, recently announced at the Clinton Global Initiative that it is expanding its efforts to include support of small to medium enterprise (SME). Building on the momentum of its work in microfinance, the organization plans to invest $10 million in the global SME sector over the next two years, as part of its efforts to increase opportunities for economic participation for citizens in developing countries around the world.

“Fostering small to medium enterprise will generate tremendous empowerment for individuals and their communities,” said Jim Bunch, director of investments at Omidyar Network. “Entrepreneurs are able to bring their passions and skills to market, creating economic and social value for themselves and their families. When these enterprises succeed and scale, this value can be shared with new employees, their families, and the community at large.”

Omidyar Network aims to create a level playing field for small to medium enterprise entrepreneurs by providing access to the financial products and services that are integral to their success. Access to financial services is an important component of economic empowerment, and microfinance has brought that access to approximately 100 million people who would otherwise not qualify for mainstream financial services. However, a gap in the size of loans continues to exist between what microfinance institutions can provide and the larger investments of commercial banks, leaving many small to medium enterprises without formal funding options.

By addressing the “missing middle” between microfinance and mainstream financial institutions, Omidyar Network intends to spur the creation of formal funding options for small to medium enterprise, including those microfinance clients whose success has propelled them beyond the scope of microfinance.

Stimulating small to medium enterprise has the potential to create jobs not just for the entrepreneur, but for the others he or she employs, giving those at the bottom of the pyramid options for economic opportunity beyond microfinance or the informal sector. In addition, connecting small to medium enterprise with the formal financial system will allow clients better terms on a more reliable basis.

Via:(Omidyar Network)

Written by John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism.
In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

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