Founder's Projects

Improving Lives Worldwide

The Founder’s Projects are additional, unique initiatives that Mike Bloomberg supports.

Investing in Women to Build Stronger Communities Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa

Women's Economic Development

Letitia, a coffee tester at Question Coffee Cafe in Kigali, Rwanda. Credit: Clay Enos

“It’s so incredible to see … how they are really improving in terms of their skills, in terms of the mindset, in terms of business. They are thinking now as businesswomen.”
Christine Condo
Sustainable Harvest Rwanda

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in programs that promote economic development for women and their families. Since 2007, partner organizations have enrolled more than 150,000 participants in vocational, rights, literacy, and health skills training programs. Additionally, these programs have prepared women to enter the labor force and gain access to global markets for their products. Women almost invariably use their wages to improve the health and living conditions of their families, especially their children. An estimated 720,000 people have seen their lives change through women’s increased access to employment and markets.

Over recent years, the Women’s Economic Development program has used a collaborative approach to reach women by working with and bringing together nonprofits, businesses, and governments. The program has honed a unique model of recruiting, training, and helping women to build their own income-generating activities. It is guided by the core belief that women are a vital part of economic growth, supporting their families and improving their communities. This effort unlocks the power of women throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies renewed support to one of its key economic development partners, the Relationship Coffee Institute. This $10 million investment builds on the success of past training programs in agriculture, construction, and textiles through the institute and other similar initiatives. The women who participate in and complete these trainings, on average, increase their incomes by 111%. Coffee produced by Relationship Coffee Institute graduates is now served at Marriott International’s first hotel in Rwanda and in Bloomberg L.P. offices around the world. Soon, it will be served on RwandAir flights across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

lives reached

Advancing the Arts in London

The Serpentine Galleries

The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion was designed by architect Bjarke Ingels.

Mike Bloomberg has served as the chair of the Serpentine Galleries since 2014. Located in historic Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Galleries are among London’s most popular art venues.

The Serpentine does not have a permanent collection; instead, the galleries host rotating exhibits that highlight the work of world-renowned modern and contemporary artists. The galleries are well-known for commissioning an architect to build a temporary, open-air pavilion each summer. These innovative structures serve as annual, short-term London landmarks.

Remembering and Learning in New York City

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Mike Bloomberg has chaired the 9/11 Memorial & Museum board for over a decade. Credit: Jin S. Lee/9/11 Memorial & Museum

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum bears solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. This past year marks ten years of Mike Bloomberg’s leadership of this important global landmark.

Becoming mayor of New York City just months after the 9/11 attack, Mike Bloomberg led the city through the aftermath of this national tragedy. The resilient spirit, hard work, and courage of countless New Yorkers enabled the city to make a remarkable recovery. In 2006, he became the chairman of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, working to help rebuild the World Trade Center site and revive Lower Manhattan.

Top photo: The environmentally friendly Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonza, Rwanda, supports women with training. Credit: Sharon Davis