We still strongly believe that growing small businesses will help the poor, but one of Google's ten organizing principles is, "it's best to do one thing really, really well." As we evaluated our efforts this past year, it became clear that given Google.org's unique strengths - including the ability to tap Google engineers to build and link better pathways to information - we could have a greater impact on the lives of the poor by focusing our efforts on Inform and Empower. As a result, we're putting our SME initiative on the back burner. We'll continue to support the grants and investments that we've already committed under the initiative. We have observed and learned from many others addressing the challenges of financing SMEs -- many of whom are seeing significant strong results -- and we hope they continue with great success. At this time, however, we will not fund new efforts in the SME space.
Google remains committed to its philanthropic goal: using information and technology to take on some of the world's greatest challenges. We continue to draw upon resources of 1% equity, 1% profit, and employee time, as outlined by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in their 2004 letter to investors. We've had a strong year of giving since the launch of our initiatives. We know that the global financial crisis is disproportionately affecting the poor and plan to increase our overall giving in 2009.
Sonal Shah, Head of Global Development, Google.org
|[NFGB] Link - from Official google.org Blog|
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