, a non-profit global venture fund which focuses on poverty alleviation across Africa and South Asia, has put in Rs 1.5 crore ($300,000) in Mumbai-based education services provider Edubridge Learning Pvt Ltd. Although based in Mumbai, Edubridge provides vocational training for low-income youth across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.
The investment is part of Acumen Fund’s education portfolio, which aims to support private sector initiatives that increase access to low-cost, high-quality learning and employability services for the poor.
“Edubridge is an early-stage company that has tremendous potential to significantly alter the landscape of opportunities for the rural youth in India. This is just one example where we can help enterprises and where government and commercial players have not fully met the needs of the poor. These investments allow us to leverage our patient capital to help launch businesses with creative approaches to major social issues,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and founder of Acumen Fund.
Edubridge targets the youth aged between 18 and 25, who are typically the first formally employed members of their respective families. Till date, the company has trained over 1,500 students and with this investment, Edubridge plans to scale its services from 12 to 30 centres over the next two years. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is also a key investor in the company.
“Edubridge’s goal is to fundamentally address the employability gap within India,” said founder Girish Singhania.
A global fund, Acumen has supported many such social entrepreneurship initiatives in countries like Ghana, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, apart from India.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)