In response to the pressing development needs, the SDG Philanthropy Platform has launched Innovation Challenge prize and through the open competition process has selected Educate Global Fund as one of the Innovators to accelerate Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Kenya.
About Educate Global Fund
Educate Global Fund1 (EGF) is a private equity investment initiative dedicated to the education sector that seeks to improve educational outcomes and life chances for children in low income communities with an initial focus on East Africa. EGF supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose products or services significantly improve educational outcomes for children. Sectors of interest include health, nutrition, water and sanitation, energy, and technology. Areas typically outside the scope of EGF investments include building schools, teacher training, or curriculum-based interventions within the classroom, which remain the core responsibility of governments through national education systems.
Project Description and Objective:
The project aimed to improve understanding of the existing landscape for demand driven business models through private sector contributions and value chain investments towards integrated ECD services. This included mapping the value chain for ECD using infographics for ease of communication and profiling case studies of existing enterprises across sectors such as nutrition, technology, learning contents, parental & community engagement, ECD service delivery models as well as highlighting the gaps where service delivery or products are lacking most in the Kenyan context.
Major Results Achieved:
- 15 social enterprises engaged in ECD service delivery in Kenya mapped;
- 6 detailed case studies developed based on the qualitative interviews with selected social enterprises;
- 14 stakeholders improved their understanding of ECD through participation in a dedicated workshop, showcasing their innovative enterprises operating in the ECD marketplace, discussing the challenges faced and sharing the lessons learned;
- A visual roadmap for ECD opportunities in Kenya produced.
Major SDG Acceleration Lever:
Shifting market and investment behavior (building ECD marketplace to close the gap between the funders and social enterprises); influencing public policy (building ECD community of practice to engage and collaborate with other ECD stakeholders)
Lessons Learned and Way Forward:
There is a clear demand for paid ECD services in Nairobi, whereas the situation (business model, affordability levels, etc.) in the rural areas still needs to be examined. ECD social enterprises are operating more on an informal basis, however, recent move by the Kenyan Government towards more regulation and licensing indicates the Government’s interest and buy-in. Those social enterprises need to be supported with the grant funding during the next 3-5 years to reach the investment readiness stage. EGF will continue looking for opportunities to keep the established community of practice together, as well as broker additional funding from donors and investors.
Additionally, EGF will focus on supporting 3 local businesses addressing nutrition issues by helping define the investment decisions and bring in investment capital.
Media Coverage and Knowledge Products:
- Educate Global’s Approach to Accelerate ECD in Kenya, a blogpost by EGF (Feb 2018)
1 For more information please visit: https://www.educateglobalinvest.com/
Photo credit: Jeremy Wilburn