Posted February 20, 2008 5:44 am by with 7 comments

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Remember when we told you about Google’s plans to pledge profits and stock to its philanthropic arm

Remember when we told you that Eric Schmidt saw huge opportunity in India?

Remember when Google told us that was really a screen so that it could find talented workers in growing countries? OK, we don’t remember that part either, but that seems to be part of Google’s master plan for

As both Reuters and AP report, Google is teaming-up with George Soros to pump $17 million into a venture that will fund small and medium (SME) businesses in India.

The Soros Economic Development Fund, the Omidyar Network and said the venture would make investments of between $500,000 and $3.5 million in small and medium businesses in India that lacked access to formal funding options.

“Long ignored by commercial capital markets, small and medium businesses are an attractive investment opportunity as well as an engine for economic growth,” Neal DeLaurentis, vice president of Soros Economic Development Fund, was cited as saying.

While you thought would focus only on health, energy and environment, it’s busy tapping into the talented, under-paid workers of developing countries.


P.S. We don’t really think this is evil in any way, but we needed to make this kind of dull news sound interesting. 😉

  • SMEs will now SMILE. Great news.

  • Interesting spin on mundane news. 🙂

  • hmm, i think it’s great that they’re putting effort and investments in furthering the development of nations such as india but i’m not sure i see how this is directly philanthropic. i mean, google is going to benefit directly either by finding stellar talent or reselling the investment later (or simply “floating” the company). it’s not a foundation in the sense that other foundations are since they’ll be acting as angel investors. even if they don’t’ accept stock in exchange for the funds, there will be an interest rate attached to the funding in which case becomes a bank.
    i’m not saying i don’t think economic investment can increase the standard of living among developing nations but calling it philanthropic is a HUGE spin on what they’re doing. it’s like saying we’re in iraq on a humanitarian mission…right…
    this is a far cry from the concept that mr. yunis initiated in bangladesh, eventually culminating in a nobel peace prize; it’s just normal “business” and i don’t see the reason for the spin.
    google can avoid a lot of “evil” being cast on it by just being more transparent and honest about its motives. sheesh, it’s not like telling the truth is unethical.

  • The proliferation of web development to india just got more significant. Wow. This is very interesting news.

  • Sounds alright to me: a sort of double benefit scheme.

  • I think that by helping small and medium size Businesses to grow is helping the nation and its people as a whole. When capitalism grows in a country socialism can’t. Google is to be praised for their endeavors.

  • Intresting!
    Google’s taking one step at at time! With it’s targeting the middle class by investing in “million in small and medium businesses in India that lacked access to formal funding options”

    Way to go google! they know how to tap markets of developing nations!