Press Release: New Private Sector-NGO Partnership to Increase Access to Higher Education Financing for Women in Ghana
CANADA (July 24, 2019) — A new partnership between Brighter Investment, a British Columbia-based social enterprise, and WUSC, a Canadian non-profit organization working in over 25 developing countries, seeks to increase access to higher education financing for marginalized young women in Ghana.
Since it first started supporting students in Ghana in 2015, Brighter Investment has made major strives towards increasing access to higher education in Africa using private capital. But due to societal and practical hurdles, women have been under-represented among the students supported. Currently, 88% of student loan recipients are men.
By partnering with WUSC, who has worked to advance girls’ education in Ghana since 1995, Brighter Investment hopes to provide more equitable access to their loans for young women. With funding from the DKM Foundation (DKM), WUSC will work with Brighter Investment to build gender inclusivity and ensure more equitable access to their program for all young people.
“Through WUSC, Canadians have helped close the education gap for girls and women in countries such as Ghana for over twenty years,” said Katharine Im-Jenkins, Chief Programs Officer at WUSC. “We are pleased to see more social enterprises in Canada, such as Brighter Investment, getting behind this mission as these businesses bring new resources and approaches to addressing the underlying barriers young women face. We are excited to see what Brighter Investment, DKM, and WUSC can achieve together for higher education in Ghana, particularly for young women.”
Brighter Investment works to support more secondary school graduates in Ghana to continue their education by providing higher education funding financed through private investment. Following graduation, students only start repaying their loans once they have secured employment as repayment is income dependent. By complementing the national scholarship program in Ghana with private capital investments targeted toward youth from less advantaged economic backgrounds, Brighter Investment is helping ensure poorer families have access to post-secondary education. The first 50 graduates from Brighter Investment’s program have increased their income five-fold and are six times less likely to be unemployed, providing investors with an attractive return.
“Ensuring more equitable access to post-secondary education financing for young women in Ghana is a societal need which also strengthens the Brighter Investment model.” says Thijs Mathot, CEO of Brighter Investment.
In addition, WUSC is leveraging some new financial tools to further support BI. WUSC has deployed a CAD50,000 investment in Brighter Investment in the form of debt and equity further supporting BI to grow their model while WUSC explores new ways to increase the accessibility of higher education for all young people.
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About Brighter Investment
In developing countries, the right degree can increase a graduate’s income 3-5x. Despite this high ROI, 60 million high potential students graduate from high school every year without a way of paying for a degree. Brighter Investment’s solution is simple: 1) a proprietary data driven algorithm selects the students with the highest potential; 2) Investors support the education of diversified cohorts of students; 3) Mentors help students start a rewarding career that would otherwise have been out of reach; 4) Investors share in the created value in the form of a percentage of the graduates’ income. The future is bright!
WUSC (World University Service of Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization working to create a better world for all young people. We bring together a diverse network of students, volunteers, schools, governments, and businesses who share this vision. Together, we foster youth-centered solutions for education, economic opportunities, and empowerment to overcome inequality and exclusion in over 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
About DKM Foundation
DKM was established as a private foundation in Canada in 2012. Our mission is to support sustainable and scalable solutions to the root causes of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. We focus our efforts on health and wellness, access to quality education and economic prosperity. Using a gender lens, DKM provides catalytic funding towards new innovations and proven concepts to deepen and scale impact.
For more information please contact:
Stephanie Leclair, Senior Manager, Communications and Philanthropy, WUSC
[email protected] | 613-761-3714