These billionaire entrepreneurs have not just touched lives of people by innovations and excellence in their respective fields, but have also taken up noble causes to make the world a better place.
Here are a few entrepreneurs and their philanthropic ventures,
1. Bill Gates – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
2. Warren Buffett – The Giving Pledge
The legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge in 2010. The Giving Pledge is an open invitation to the world’s wealthiest families and individuals to donate the bulk of their wealth to charitable and philanthropic organizations, either during their lifetime or after their death. Pledgers have the option to donate to any charity or group they see fit, allowing for a wide array of charitable relief, worldwide.
3. Mark Zuckerberg – Newark New Jersey Public Schools and Chan Zuckerberg Foundation
In 1995 The State of New Jersey declared the school system a failure and seized control, replacing its elected school board with a state-appointed advisory board. The Facebook founder rubbed elbows with Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker at a conference and the two discussed ways to improve Newark’s schools and put them back in the hands of their host city. Needless to say, they concluded that a young billionaire’s donation would help. Zuckerberg donated $100 million to Newark Public Schools in 2010. Post that in 2015, Zuckerberg launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with initial focus areas being “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.” The couple has also pledged to give 99 percent of their FB shares to public-interest causes
4. Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of the charitable giving for founder Michael R. Bloomberg. Headquartered in New York City, Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses its resources on five areas: the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation and education. According to the Foundation Center, Bloomberg Philanthropies is the 12th largest foundation in the United States. Bloomberg has pledged to donate the majority of his wealth, currently estimated at more than $49 billion. Patti Harris is the CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
5. Oprah Winfrey – Angel Network
The queen of media, founder or Harpo Inc., and co-founder of Oxygen Media, started her Angel Network in 2000. The goal of the network was to inspire people to make a difference in the lives of others. The Angel Network has given awards, scholarships and grants to a diverse list of people and organizations that have taken the initiative to change the world for the better. The Angel Network awarded $1 million each to six different revolutionary U.S. charter schools as its final act of charity before coming to a close in conjunction with Winfrey’s talk show finale in 2011. Winfrey herself continues to contribute to charitable organizations, like the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.