We’ve been in contact with over 25 organisations who either reached out to us or whom we’ve been actively approaching. But it turns out, it’s not that easy to find qualifying organisations. Most organisations working in education can only accept donations. They can’t accept investments as there are no returns, and for the same reason won’t be able to repay any loans. This is quite understandable as (non private) schools are no businesses, so there is no business model attached. There are however a couple of interesting opportunities within the educational sector:
- Social enterprises providing student loans for students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to study. These students will find jobs, earning salaries which allow them to repay their loans (over years).
- Social enterprises rolling out high quality education programs in geographies where the current education system is very poor. These enterprises sell their programs to governments, using their returns to invest in growing their social impact.
- Social enterprises setting up digital skills or coding schools for young adults who will be able earn high salaries afterwards and therefore pay back their school fees and/or allow for ‘placement fees’ from companies that hire them to be paid to the social enterprise.
- Social impact bonds (SIB) -a quite new concept, where foundations, or commercial businesses pre-pay for projects and get repaid by governments only after the goal is achieved. This way governments only spend for results, where foundations and businesses cover the risk, but get repaid (with interest) if the goal is achieved. For the Vanderes Foundation I can imagine we could pre-fund an NGO rolling out a school chain, backed by the government who will re-pay once the results (think of the cost-savings for a government when a higher percentage of their youth gets education and therefore find better jobs, increase their spending power, reduce criminal behaviour, reduce health costs, etc.) are achieved. You can read more about social impacts bonds on the website of the UNDP.
We currently are in in-depth conversations with an American social purpose organisation providing student loans to marginalized students in Southeast Asia. We hope to be able to announce our first partnership soon.
If you are or know an organisation that would fit our requirements, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the form at the end of this page.