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Opportunity EduFinance
1 Fore St., London EC2Y 5EJ

Telephone: +44 (0)1865725304

© 2017 Opportunity International Education Finance functions under its US and UK affiliates. Opportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692). Opportunity International United Statesis a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Blog

Impact investors face US$39bn opportunity in education microfinance

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

  Education offers impact investors some of the best opportunities for financial and social returns, with the market for education microloans worth US$39 billion across 33 countries, according to recent analysis by Opportunity International's Education Finance Group (Opportunity EduFinance).  Building on studies with partner organisations, Opportunity EduFinance worked with a strategy consultant, using desktop research and the latest available data from UNESCO, the Economist, and Mix Market. “Education…

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Opportunity EduFinance shares big data enabling others to invest in education

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Millions more children could end up getting an education, when Opportunity International's EduFinance Group shares its experience and data on education microfinance, enabling others to invest in education. With 263 million children out of school, banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to lend into developing countries’ education because – in their view – of the small margins and high risks. But with backing from philanthropists, donors, and impact investors, Opportunity’s…

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G7 Statement: Education needs more resources, microfinance can help

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Ahead of this week’s G7 summit 2017, which is expected to focus on sustainability and reducing inequality, including on education, Nathan Byrd, Global Head of Opportunity International EduFinance, said: “We welcome the G7’s second pillar: their discussions on economic, environmental and social sustainability, and the reduction of inequalities (G7 Priorities). Complete and equal access to education will be a major contributor to poverty reduction and to socio-economic stability. National governments…

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'Education for People and Planet': The 2016 GEM Report & The Private Sector

by Opportunity International

The first and much anticipated Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report has just been published and it’s an important contribution to the discourse on how we tackle the global education crisis. GEM is the UNESCO-backed body charged with monitoring and reporting progress towards the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.  SDG4 pledges to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030. The authoritative report…

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Accountability, EduFinance, and UNESCO's GEM Report

by Opportunity International

The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report has just published its first annual edition, reporting this year on sustainability in education, and we’ll be posting our thoughts about it later this week.  This report serves as oversight for education-related Sustainable Development Goals. In the meantime work continues at GEM on next year’s report, which will focuses on Accountability. Accountability is a cornerstone for our EduFinance work, and we therefore contributed our findings to…

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School Loans, Job Creation, and the Advancement of Low-Income Communities

by By Nathan Byrd, Head of Education Finance

In a new third-party analysis of 94 Ugandan schools accessing Opportunity EduFinance loans, the resulting school growth created an average of 18.6 additional jobs within the community. How Schools Expand When a school builds new classrooms, dormitories and other infrastructure, the school requires more staff to manage these facilities including teachers, dorm monitors, security guards, and cooks among others. When a school purchases a school bus, it requires more staff such as drivers – and, as…

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Microfinance boosts education for 44,000 Ugandan girls

by Opportunity International

For too long, microloans in the education sector were difficult, unprofitable, and unsustainable. Cash flows were irregular, the returns on investment took time. And lenders could not stomach the risks.  But big data, our ability to collect and analyse large amounts of information, has minimised this risk, lifting our loan repayment rates to 99 percent and opening new possibilities for education microfinance. In 2014, we launched a three-year education microfinance project in Uganda, with funding…

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Consigning the cane to history

by Opportunity International

For as long as anyone can remember, many teachers in Ghana have relied on the cane to control their classroom. These days it has become more frowned upon, however the practice is not yet illegal and remains widespread. How best to see corporal punishment banished from the country’s schools? Opportunity EduFinance’s work with its Self Improving Schools System (SISS) in Ghana has shown that facilitating peer-to-peer professional development and support is one very effective way, by letting school…

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Big data means investors should look again at African education

by Nathan Byrd, Head of Opportunity EduFinance

As delegates gather in Kigali for the World Economic Forum on Africa this week, they may be encouraged to hear how the digital revolution can help transform Africa’s education systems. It cannot happen fast enough. Despite impressive progress, some 30 million children in Africa are out of school and this number appears to be growing. At least part of this crisis comes from a lack of funding for education. African governments spend an average 18 percent of their total spending on education, higher…

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Microfinance helps build a school, create jobs in coastal Ghana

by Opportunity International

The latest figures from UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report remind us how donor aid can be so capricious, even for something as critically important as education. Released on Monday, April 25th, UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report estimates that from 2013 to 2014, global aid to education dropped 4 percent to US$13.1 billion. That means that the world now needs to find an extra US$39 billion per year to achieve universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education of good…

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