Mastercard Foundation to Invest in Edtech Startups in Africa, Invites Businesses to Apply

edtech startups

The Mastercard Foundation is set to invest in education technology startups in Africa to help scale the products with the potential to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the continent.

The Foundation’s Regional Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT is inviting innovative growth-stage educational technology businesses to submit their solutions for an opportunity to scale their ventures and improve access to quality education in Africa.

The Center is looking for solutions on challenges that it identified at the Ministerial Forum that it convened in August 2019 which brought together Ministers of Education, edtech entrepreneurs, private sector, donors, and other educational stakeholders. The objective of the meeting was to converge on key challenges that face education systems in Africa that ICT can effectively address.

Through its Request for Proposal (RFP), the Mastercard Foundation’s Regional Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT calls on African edtech entrepreneurs to submit innovative solutions that:

  • Enhance and increase accessibility and affordability of professional development for in-service school teachers, which also minimizes their out-of-classroom time.
  • Create and deliver enriched learning content that improves quality, relevance and accessibility to both in-school and out-of-school secondary school learners

The Mastercard Foundation has designed a support package that will enable selected businesses to increase their reach, sustainability and impact. The Foundation’s regional center will partner with selected edtech companies for a 12-month journey of support that will see them receive access to coaching and customized mentorship as well as financial assistance. Selected startups will also have the chance to build relationships and increase collaboration with the public sector and validate their solutions with the potential to pilot in school networks throughout the Mastercard Foundation’s anchor countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Criteria that Mastercard Foundation’s Center require from the applicants:

  • Must be a registered company that is now post-product with the potential to scale;
  • The company must be majority African-led and/or owned;
  • Must be either a for-profit or not-for-profit operating model;
  • The company is already operating in, or interested in moving into, the education market in Africa;
  • The company’s product specifically addresses (1) the professional development of teachers and/or (2) the need for enriched and accessible learning content for learners.

The request for proposals and online application for the edtech funds is currently open starting October 21. Last date to submit online application form is November 21, 2019. Final selection of applicants will be announced on December 16, 2019. Interested edtech entrepreneurs can apply via here.

Meanwhile, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT was established as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Strategy to enable 30 million young people to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. It was launched so that the Foundation can work closely with edtech entrepreneurs, African governments, and other stakeholders across the continent to support innovative solutions to improve the quality, accessibility and relevance pf education in Africa.

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About the Author
Author: Stephen Soulunii
Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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