Amazon founder launches £1.5bn philanthropic fund

14 Sep 2018 News

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, has announced the launch of a $2bn (£1.52bn) philanthropic fund to “help homeless families and build a network of preschools”. 

Bezos, who is the world’s richest man, made the launch announcement of his Bezos Day One Fund on his Twitter account yesterday.

As part of the announcement, Bezos said that the fund would give funding to “existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities”. 

In the announcement, Bezos said the fund would be split into two different funds. The “academies fund” and the “families fund”. 

Bezos said: “We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer”. 

The Amazon founder has been criticised in the past for his previous lack of philanthropic undertakings. On 15 June 2017 he tweeted out a “request for ideas” about setting up a new philanthropy strategy. 

Bezos’ company Amazon has also been recently criticised for the reportedly poor working conditions and low wages it pays its staff.

Alongside Amazon, Bezos also owns the Washington Post and his own aerospace company, called Blue Origin. His personal fortune is estimated at £163bn, and earlier this month Amazon became only the second company after Apple to be valued at $1tn. 

The $2bn put forward by Bezos for the philanthropic fund works out at just 1.1 per cent of his personal wealth. 

The fund has been registered in the United States and Bezos has not indicated whether or not it will operate internationally. 

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