I’m a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, pursuing a M.A. in Trade, Investment and Development. My capstone project involves being a Frontier Market Scout in India for six months. I’m working for the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF), recruiting businesses for an incubator we’re running in the Fall to help affordable education startups succeed.
The cool thing about the incubator is that PALF has partnered with Village Capital to use their unique peer-selection model to offer the two highest rated companies $75,000 USD each as seed investments.
Frontier Market Scouts
The Frontier Market Scouts Program selects and trains compassionate and capable young professionals to become talent scouts and investment managers serving local entrepreneurs and social-minded investors in low-income and weak-capital regions of the world. The scouts provide due diligence for investors and technical assistance for entrepreneurs with the goal of generating high-quality deal flows and supporting portfolio companies at a low cost.
Pearson Affordable Learning Fund
The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund makes minority equity investments in for-profit companies to meet a burgeoning demand for affordable education services in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The fund was launched in July 2012 with $15 million of initial Pearson capital. The purpose of the fund is to improve access to quality education for the poorest families in the world. We invest in private companies committed to innovative approaches and improving learning outcomes. Pearson is the world’s leading education company, operating in more than 70 countries and providing educational materials, technologies, assessments and related services to teachers and students of all ages. Through its products and partnerships, Pearson aims to make a difference in people’s lives through learning. See more at: http://www.affordable-learning.com
Village Capital uses the power of peer support to build enterprises that change the world. Inspired by the concept of the “village bank” in microfinance and peer support groups such as YPO, Village Capital puts the hard tasks of building companies–criticism, strategy, feedback, and legwork–in the hands of entrepreneurs themselves. Village Capital organizes cohorts worldwide and runs education programs focused on intensive peer review. Program content addresses different aspects of the business model and sessions typically include: Value Proposition, Customer Validation, Marketing for startups, Building a Team to reach Scale, Investor Panel for Investment Criteria, Measuring your Impact, and more. In the past two years, Village Capital has launched 18 programs worldwide, supporting over 300 entrepreneurs from more than 30 countries. Participants have raised $12 million, created over 500 jobs, and served thousands of customers. Village Capital is actively expanding worldwide. For more information see www.vilcap.com.