8B Education Investments partners with Nelnet Bank in the first ever lending program by a US bank to African students enrolled in American universities; $30m over three years part of a broader $111.6m Commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to Accelerate African students’ Access to Global Universities
With this partnership, Nelnet Bank has agreed to originate $30 million of loans over a period of three years in support of 8B’s lending program that enables African students to pursue their studies in United States (U.S.) universities.
During the CGI meeting, 8B Education Investments announced a total of $111.6 million in funding commitments from a range of partners unified in their commitment to enable world-class education for the next generation of African innovators.
The partnership, enabled by 8B’s use of innovative credit enhancement to guarantee losses incurred by Nelnet for the duration of the loan program, makes Nelnet Bank becomes the first U.S. bank to ever support lending to African students attending U.S. universities at scale.
“Until now, African students have had limited access to global universities with enrollment largely depending on the luck of obtaining a scholarship.
The world has underinvested in African brilliance. As a result, every year, hundreds of thousands of African students obtain offers from world-class universities and fail to enroll, largely due to a lack of financing.”
– Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, 8B’s founder and Chief Executive Officer
Listen to the Disruptors for GOOD episode with Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, Founder & CEO of 8B Education Investments.
8B Education Investments estimates that the 500,000 African students enrolled in global universities represent 30 percent of students who received offers from such universities.
Consequently, Africans are underrepresented in global universities and, by extension, in global innovation ecosystems.
“Our partnership with 8B is a historic step in the history of student lending and a giant leap forward toward increasing access for African students,” said Andrea Moss, CEO of Nelnet Bank.
“Together, we will be able to provide opportunity to one of the fastest growing student demographics in the world and one that has been overlooked for too long. Nelnet Bank is thrilled to be working on this together with our colleagues from 8B Education Investments.”
As the first fintech solution focused on African students, 8B is committed to enabling African brilliance to have a global impact.
8B Education Investments provides tools to enable African students to identify best-fit global universities and level up their applications, access affordable financing and connect with career support for job placement.
“There are few affordable student lending options for African learners though there are a broad swath for international students. Nelnet’s bold loan funding commitment to 8b Education Investments will catalyze growth and unlock African excellence.
I have spent 35 years evaluating business opportunities. This partnership is one of the most extraordinary I have seen. 8B uses a proven business model to create value and extraordinary impact across Africa and the world.
This partnership is an excellent example of how private capital can invest in the future of Africa.”
– Debra Fine, Founding Board Chair of 8B Education Investments and Chair of Fine Capital Partners
8B’s CGI commitment, which will include students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), will accelerate African access to global innovation ecosystems and promote diversity and inclusion in global universities and workplaces.
It will also build a scalable market-based model for financing world-class human capital development in low-income countries.
The partnerships have a combined value of $111.6 million that will be deployed over the next three years.
These partnerships will transform the lives of over 1,400 future innovators from the African continent through affordable student financing and reach over 2 million African students in higher education.
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