What We Do Technical Assistance
Opportunity EduFinance is increasing access to education in the developing world through technical assistance
We deliver this assistance to financial institutions through our EduFinance Technical Assistance Facility (ETAF), which offers support to socially motivated Financial Institutions (FIs) to develop and deliver sustainable, scalable and impactful products and programs that help families, students, schools and their communities tackle the major problems facing education in the developing world.
Before they receive the technical assistance, many FIs do not know how to operate commercially in the education sector. They are reluctant to increase the size of their education portfolios or even to enter the market, seeing education savings, lending and insurance products as a large and unknown risk.
Building portfolios of educational micro-loans for schools and parents
With the necessary knowledge and tools, however, FIs can build a sustainable portfolio of educational loans including School Improvement Loans, School Fee Loans, Tertiary Tuition Loans, and other specialised products for the space. The school improvement loan allows a school scale its operations more quickly, increasing cash flow and allowing for increased investment in teacher pay, quality improvement, and reducing classroom overcrowding. School fee loans enable parents to pay for their children’s education by confronting challenges associated with inconsistent or seasonal income – a common problem created by informal labor markets in the developing world, and the root of substantial absenteeism and subsequent dropout from school. Loan repayment rates average more than 99% across all ETAF partners.
In the longer term, this technical assistance aims to increase the number of FIs lending to the education sector. Working through its ETAF, Opportunity EduFinance expects the number of its FI partners to grow three-fold over a three year period. In 2015, the average ETAF partner portfolio grew its EduFinance client base by 64%, rapidly accelerating access to finance within local education value chains.
One aim: democratising access to quality education for families across the developing world.
Opportunity EduFinance’s technical assistance work has one primary aim – to democratise access to quality education for families across the developing world. As more FIs become involved in the provision of effective, socially impactful and commercially sustainable financial products, this aim becomes a reality.
Another way to look at this technical assistance is that it corrects a market failure. By catalysing FI involvement in education, Opportunity EduFinance links investors’ search for low risk investment opportunities with the education sector’s need for specialised capital and related services.
Seven areas of technical assistance expertise
The technical assistance process begins when an FI is identified as both suitable and willing. Opportunity EduFinance works with the FI to identify needs and agree a Technical Assistance (TA) package specifically targeting those needs. ETAF delivers TA within seven areas of expertise:
- strategic planning
- business intelligence
- social performance
- human resource development
- education quality
Technical assistance is delivered by Opportunity EduFinance staff or external consultants and includes helping the FI to incorporate robust, detailed management reporting to inform decision-making. Results are assessed at a high level by comparing social impact, portfolio performance and market engagement before and after the TA. Akin to its non-profit status, Opportunity EduFinance does not seek to profit from ETAF services.