Bloomberg Philanthropies is scheduled Tuesday to announce a $5 million deal with LittleSun GmbH, the German company that makes Little Sun, a hand-held solar-powered lamp created by Berlin artist Olafur Eliasson and Copenhagen engineer Frederik Ottesen. It is the first such support lent by the foundation to a so-called social business.
The lamp, introduced two years ago at the Tate Modern museum in London, is intended for use in areas where electricity is scarce and the primary source of lighting is kerosene lamps. The device is available in eight sub-Saharan African countries. At $9 to $17 apiece, the device pays for itself in roughly six months, say Mr. Eliasson and Rohit Aggarwala, who is part of the environmental group at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Grassroots organisations are to share in a multi-million dollar project to improve family planning and reproductive health services for women and girls in Africa and Latin America.
Groups in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Nicaragua will be able to apply for advocacy grants as part of a three-pillar, $50m (£30m) package to support family planning services. The scheme was announced on Thursday by Bloomberg Philanthropies, set up by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.
Here in Providence, where more than 85 percent of public school students are eligible for federally subsidized lunches and two-thirds of public school kindergartners are behind in recognizing basic language sounds or identifying letters in print, officials see Providence Talks as just one part of a larger educational strategy. It is being funded by a $5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, and officials hope that they can eventually secure some public funding.
With $452 million distributed in 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies is among the largest foundations in the United States, but it distinguishes itself by acting as its namesake, Michael Bloomberg, does–with sophisticated, data-driven solutions for every step of the process, from identifying priorities to monitoring progress to scaling pragmatic solutions.
In launching a program to provide child care, a playpen—or both—to some 80,000 Bangladeshi children ages 1 to 4, the foundation is pursuing a low-cost solution that could be scaled up after a two-year trial. The idea came from program officers currently working on another Bloomberg project to reduce tobacco use in Bangladesh.
The Bloomberg project to “save the oceans and feed the world” is called the Vibrant Oceans Initiative. Over the next five years, Bloomberg Philanthropies is going to dole out $53 million to three organizations to fund specific fisheries reforms in Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines. The three organizations—Oceana, Rare, and EKO Asset Management—are all based in the U.S.
Michael Bloomberg’s fondness for fish is already well known thanks to the luminous tropical fish tanks that dot the offices of the billionaire’s sprawling global media empire.
The former New York City mayor is about to go a step further, however, with a $53m grant from his Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation to combat the chronic overfishing some experts say is threatening the world’s fish supply.