The money will be invested in international microfinance initiatives through a partnership with Tufts University. The gift is the largest private allocation of capital to microfinance by an individual or family.
The Omidyar Network will provide small loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world, designed to help and empower them to start businesses.
Loans are expected to range from £180 to £300, and the majority will be administered to women. They will have a relatively short duration of three to four months, and a "substantial repayment rate".
Omidyar cited the example of a handicraft worker in a developing country who could use the loan to buy a new sewing machine, or whatever supplies are needed, with the idea that the new resources will help the worker operate independently.
Financial support from the fund will go mainly to citizens in India, parts of South Asia, Africa and South America.
Microfinance is seen as one of the most effective ways of helping the world's poor to escape poverty and free them from having to rely on loan sharks.
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