Can you remember what the world wide web was like 15 years ago? When eBay was founded in 1995, it truly was a “disruptive innovation” completely changing the way people shop. As we’ve worked to bring The Opportunity Project to life, we’ve considered how eBay brought economic opportunities to people who never had them before. People who faced barriers to bringing their products to market, whether it was because they were disadvantaged, or lived in a rural community, or were challenged by cross-border trade issues. eBay changed all of that. Now, people around the globe are able to earn a living on eBay.
As we talked with employees throughout the eBay Inc. organization, they talked about using our sites for even greater good. How could we take what we’ve learned through our businesses and create a philanthropic program that mirrors that innovation and success? That uses disruptive technology to create a better life for people? That leverages our skills, our resources and our business acumen to create a program that helps remove barriers for people who are ready to participate, but need a little extra help? That is how The Opportunity Project came to life.
I am incredibly proud to help launch The Opportunity Project. When Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll created eBay Foundation, they had a vision to extend the eBay opportunity beyond buyers and sellers on our site. We want to invest the Foundation’s financial resources, leverage the expertise of the business, and harness the passion of our employees to identify innovative new solutions that provide economic opportunities to people who need them most.
Connecting people to opportunities — it’s what eBay does best. And we’re excited to get started.