At Omidyar Network, we believe there are few more direct pathways to opportunity than education. That’s because a young person’s education can lay the foundation for a brighter future of economic possibility and societal well-being. Yet for too many people around the world, quality education is out of reach—leaving students unprepared for life and work, and parents unsure how to access quality education for their children.
We know there is no panacea to address the complex local education challenges that exist. But by focusing on improving student learning outcomes, we can begin to address some of the greatest and most persistent unmet needs in education around the world. We consider critical thinking and building competencies like communication, collaboration, and creativity—as well as character qualities like adaptability, initiative, and curiosity—important parts of skill development.
Since 2009, Omidyar Network has made education investments in more than 45 partners. Omidyar Network has a unique hybrid structure we refer to as flexible capital. This structure enables us to support both for-profit entrepreneurs harnessing the power of markets as well as nonprofit and public-sector changemakers who are innovating to bring higher-quality education to millions, if not hundreds of millions, of learners.
We aim to bring accessible, equitable, and scalable quality solutions to regions where education and employment opportunities are scarce, and to empower parents and communities in the process. We also believe that technology has untapped potential to be a valuable educational tool to support teachers and students.
Our Focus Areas in Key Geographies
In Africa, India, and Latin America, we are refining the focus of our investments to three key areas where we believe Omidyar Network will have the greatest impact:
- K12 innovative school models: innovative school models and pedagogic approaches that can directly scale impact and indirectly inspire both public and private education providers to improve learning outcomes
- K12 ed-tech: high-growth technology products and services, evaluation tools, partnerships, and resources to scale differentiated learning solutions to meet students’ unique needs
- Connected skilling for work readiness: online or blended solutions for skills training that are directly linked to employers
In the United States, we seek to increase kindergarten readiness through an inter-generational approach, investing in quality learning opportunities for both the child and the parent or primary caregiver:
- Children (birth to age five)
- Family/caregiver empowerment: technology-enabled tools and solutions to increase young children’s development and parental engagement at scale
- Quality early learning centers: scalable innovative models, tools, and solutions to increase access to quality early learning center experiences
- Parent (or primary caregiver) education-to-career pathways: support services and parent-friendly credentials to increase parents’ completion of quality programs linked to careers and economic security for families