Education helps individuals escape poverty by developing the skills they need to improve their livelihoods. Everyone should be able to access to free education. 

#FreeEducation #BasicSkills


Basic skills (reading, writing): In most developing countries, few children graduate from secondary school and many don’t even finish primary school. Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers. If all students in low income countries left school with basic reading skills, we could eradicate 12% of world poverty. Even when tuition is free, there are often expenses for lunch, uniforms, examination fees or additional tutoring because the quality of education is often poor. 

Nutrition & health care knowledge : The devastating preventable disease wreaks on well-being and financial stability in poor regions and can be dramatically mitigated through instruction on basic health behaviors, such as hand washing. Education can make a significant difference when it applies to nutrition and health care. 

Financial literacy & Entrepreneurship skills: People need the financial literacy to manage the meager resources under their control, and guidance to create opportunities for securing a livelihood or building wealth.



Profits for education

Social enterprises selling a product or a service (B2B or B2C) and giving all the profits to children’s education.

Success stories

Data valorisation

Educational platforms generating valuable data which can be sold to corporate companies.

Success stories

  • Duolinguo (200 million users, crowdsourced translations)


Visibility sold to corporate companies on educational / information platforms.

Success stories


Low cost devices

Frugal innovation to produce affordable devices for the developing world.

Success stories


Educational platforms accessible for free, funded by the sale of a premium service additional services.

Success stories

  • Maya Apa (10,000 users, free educational app charging for faster replies and unlimited queries)



BRAC has set up 16 social enterprises addressing community needs and providing jobs to many. Its flagship social enterprise is the retail outlet Aarong Craft Shops in Bangladesh, reaches more than 65,000 artisans. Its dairy business, BRAC Dairy, collects milk from 54,000 marginalized farmers and has 20-30% of market share. With the profit, BRAC can offer free education programs to build skills and training for decent jobs in growth sectors.

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Samasource provides hands-on services to digital companies to enrich and label their large datasets.  Being data-driven is key for a digital business to succeed today. Samasource is a non-profit, the entirety of revenues generated are reinvested to scale the impact. 

Samasource uses a proprietary technology platform, the SamaHub, that breaks down large-scale digital projects from clients into smaller tasks for workers in developing countries or refugees to contribute. This is called microwork.  These workers are trained in basic computer skills for a few weeks at delivery centers with which Samasource partners, and paid a local living wage for their labor.

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Alison currently offers over 1000+ online courses across certificate and diploma level. Alison is a MOOC (Massive open online courses). It  invites publishers to share courses on the platform. It makes money through advertising (on their website), merchandise (T-shirt) and the sale of Certificates and Diplomas, should a graduate choose to buy one. Cost is highly reduced compared to usual schools (cost of building, staff…). Through the online pay per click advertising revenue model, Alison has founded a business model whereby ‘learners in the developed countries are essentially paying for those in developing countries’ while providing the learning materials for free.

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Jana provides free internet to people in emerging markets. Users in emerging countries can download the mCent app from their phone and start to earn data by trying out sponsored apps. For every megabyte spent within the sponsored Amazon app, for example, Jana will credit the user with an additional megabyte that they can use for anything. It’s an ad-sponsored internet.

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Maharishi Institute

Maharishi Institute is the world’s first self-funding university. Following a “Learn & earn” business model, this university from South Africa offers education and jobs via their call centre to allow students to pay for the tuition. Education includes self-development programmes which develop students holistically.

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Duolingo SOLUTION A platform (web and app) offering free language courses for all.  The app uses game concepts like unlockable levels (lessons) and points and high scores to motivate you to learn a language.  BUSINESS MODEL There are two parts to Duolingo's brilliant...

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