SAN JOSE, Calif.—March 30, 2011—eBay Inc. today announced the launch of The Opportunity Project, a global social innovation initiative designed to support and help scale market-based approaches to providing economic opportunity in vulnerable, impoverished communities. Powered by eBay Foundation, The Opportunity Project’s first investment is $250,000 in social venture capital to five innovative market-based solutions. Recipients will be selected through a global competition in partnership with Ashoka, an association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, and its Changemakers community of action.
"For more than 15 years, eBay has been fostering economic opportunity by providing millions of people the chance to build online businesses and participate in the global economy." said John Donahoe, President and Chief Executive Officer, eBay, Inc. "The Opportunity Project extends our belief in creating opportunity and making a difference in the world by supporting social innovations in vulnerable communities. We hope The Opportunity Project can help scale market-based solutions that benefit families and strengthen communities through economic empowerment."
In partnership with eBay Foundation and The Opportunity Project, Ashoka’s Changemakers today is launching an online competition to find the most innovative solutions worldwide. The competition, Powering Economic Opportunity: Create a World that Works, will recognize social entrepreneurs who are creating economic opportunity through increased access to restricted job markets, disruptive innovations in job creation or skills building, connections between local entrepreneurs and global markets, or systems to promote awareness of job opportunities. 2 2
Entries to the competition will be accepted until 5PM EST on June 15, 2011. Through Ashoka’s Changemakers website, anyone who registers with the site will be able to comment on applications and vote on the best. Ten finalists will be determined by online voting. An expert panel of judges selected by The Opportunity Project and Changemakers will then evaluate the ten finalists, and select five winners. Each winner will receive a cash prize of US $50,000. Winners will be announced September 14, 2011.
In addition to the cash awards, The Opportunity Project will explore with recipient organizations other ways in which eBay may help support and scale their innovative ideas. The Opportunity Project also intends to forge other partnerships with organizations like Ashoka and engage in collaborative approaches to building participation in the global economy, including matching eBay employees worldwide with these nonprofit organizations through a skills-based volunteer program.
"The Opportunity Project is a natural extension for eBay and eBay Foundation," said Lauren Moore, President and Executive Director, eBay Foundation. "By forming collaborations with organizations that have implemented systemic, disruptive social innovations, we have the ability to help create economic opportunities and generate employment for people who face barriers to fully participating in the global economy."
About eBay Inc.
Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.
About eBay Foundation
The first corporate foundation endowed with pre-IPO stock, eBay Foundation was established in 1998 to stretch the boundaries of eBay’s virtual village, enriching and empowering communities by connecting people to opportunities and resources. Since inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations worldwide. The Foundation engages eBay Inc. 3 3
employees and supports their pursuit of charitable giving and volunteerism through its GIVE Team program. In addition, using a unique combination of foundation funding, employee volunteerism, and other resources, eBay Foundation has created The Opportunity Project to extend the company’s commitment to global citizenship. By scaling social innovations that create economic opportunity, The Opportunity Project gives people in need the chance to participate in the global economy, provide for their families, and build stronger communities. For more information: www.theopportunityproject.org.