Across the globe social enterprises are boldly pioneering new education interventions that specifically target the most vulnerable in pursuit of delivering education access and quality. These interventions do not thrive in isolation; an education social enterprise requires funders, investors, researchers and policymakers and a favourable ecosystem to create impact. Thus concerted effort is needed to connect innovators to opportunities, foster diffusion of knowledge and learning and ultimately capitalize on innovation to improve access and learning for the worlds’ poor.
Recognizing the significance of social enterprise in education and the need to foster collaboration, the CEI hub for East Africa hosted the landmark Education Social Enterprise Forum (EdSEF) on 21st November 2014 at Boma Inn, Nairobi. The forum provided an opportunity to showcase innovative social enterprises as profiled on the CEI database and brought together leading education stakeholders including social impact investors, donors, eduprenuers, educationalists and policy makers at both national and county government levels to explore:
- How best to continue building innovative education social enterprises
- How to scale existing models
- How to ensure that social enterprises are targeting and supporting national education priorities
- How best different stakeholders can work together within the education ecosystem.
The event attracted over 120 participants drawn from education sectors across Kenya, Eastern and Western Africa, Europe and United States. Local and international participants at the event included DFID-Kenya, IFC, ARK International, Human Development Innovation Fund, eLimu, Acumen, Amani Institute, Uwezo, Teach for All, Bridge International Academies, Ashoka, Eneza, IDP Foundation, Mango Tree, Gidi Mobile, M-Pesa Foundation and Government of Kenya.
The one day event was officially opened with a speech from the Cabinet Secretary Professor Jacob Kaimenyi, read by Isaac Kamande, Chief Economist, Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology (MoEST). Opening addresses were given by Kariuki Mungai, Assistant Director of Education Policy and Partnerships at MoEST who highlighted government education priorities and opportunities to embrace social enterprises and innovation; Lisa Phillips, Head of Office at DFID Kenya who encouraged participants to reflect upon the current state of education and need for transformative innovation and Donika Dimovska, CEI Program Director, who shared a global overview of CEI, setting the objectives for the forum in relation to CEI’s vision.
Panel sessions at EdSEF included:
- Social Enterprise in Education: What Works?
- Roadmap to a successful social enterprise.
- Unlocking the pipeline: How best to innovate and incubate using eduprenuers.
- Scaling education: Managing quality as you grow.
- The post-2015 development agenda and role of the non-state actors.
EdSEF encouraged participants to think collaboratively about education innovation and how to transform, what is in many ways is an archaic system. This report summarises and synthesises the proceedings and outcomes from the forum.
Isaac Kamande, Chief Economist, MoEST, addresses leading education implementers, researchers, policymakers, funders, and impact investors from across East Africa
To read the detailed report from the event click the link below. Pictures of the event are available here.