Education Finance: Building the Business Case for Educating Girls and Equipping Them with Financial and Entrepreneurial Skills
263 million children out of school, a ballooning under-15 population, and governments unable to keep pace with education demands. Education Finance plays a critical role in getting and keeping every child in school. Opportunity International (Opportunity) has been championing education finance for 10 years and disbursed more than 190,000 loans to schools and parents through profitable portfolios with minimal risk and high social impact. Opportunity's work with DFID's Girls' Education Challenge provides gender-neutral financial services for families and schools in Uganda. These services are coupled with education quality, including teacher and governance training as well as mentorship and training for girls (financial literacy, empowerment, entrepreneurial skills, and sexual/reproductive health). Panelists shared hard data and social analysis behind efficiently scaling the EduFinance and EduQuality programs. However, while our partnerships specifically around girls have been successful, the question is how, and if, this non-profit component can be scaled as successfully and sustainably.