Investment firm Village Capital and Pearson aim to invest $75,000 into two “Edupreneurs” in Africa in amove to help the world’s less privileged students and solve the world’s most pressing educational challenges.
Ross Baird, executive director of Village Capital said, “We’re looking to build great companies that improve the quality of education for millions of low-income children across the world, and believe that entrepreneurs can see opportunities that larger players have overlooked.”
The two winners who will be offered up to USD $75,000 in seed funding will be selected through peer review by fellow education entrepreneurs and will be part of those invited to attend Pearson workshops in South Africa where they will complete tailored modules in business and education topics, and receive mentoring advice from other entrepreneurs, investors and professionals.
“We’re excited to scout across southern Africa for this unique incubation model and to continue bolstering the global ecosystem supporting education entrepreneurs,” says Ember Melcher, Program Manager for Edupreneurs at the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund.
Applications are open to ‘edupreneurs’ operating across Africa who serve students in low-income communities and intend to scale their businesses to make a positive impact on the future of learning.
Riaan Jonck, CEO of Pearson South Africa says its through programmes like Edupreneurs and their potential for success in the future that have led to small business sectors being key economic drivers in the fight against unemployment and poverty. “Enterprise Development is a key component of our transformation strategy, and we are looking forward to seeing innovative ‘edupreneurs’ emerge from this programme”, he adds.
The top two ranking companies eligible to receive up to USD $75,000 each—drawn from USD $100,000 and USD $50,000 of capital committed by Pearson and Village Capital, respectively.
The 2014 applications close at the end of August and selected edupreneurs will be announced by the end of September. Village Capital has operated 27 programmes globally serving more than 400 entrepreneurs and had a similar program in India.