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Updated (01/21): Invest in people´s education for a return

Individuals or organizations can invest directly in people´s education and earn profit with purpose by helping them succeed.

Photo of Edmilson Rodrigues
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

The target audience are individuals or organizations that want to have profit with purpose by investing in the students´ education for a return. They might create funds to invest in different individuals with the same strategy (minorities, first generation college students, US Veterans), or they might fund a single person. This reimagines the cost by creating new sources of funding for education. And the student pays back in an "equity like" model, or with simple debt.

Talent is universal, opportunities are not. I am Edmilson Rodrigues, entrepreneur from Recife/Brazil. After passing through the experience of not being able to fund my own educational dream, that was to do a MBA in the US, I made it my life mission to promote the access to responsible loans for education, worldwide. 

The company Education Dream, Inc. is the result of almost two years of validation and refinement. 960 students from different countries applied to receive loans, 7 people were funded totalizing $39,000 in loans. It is a humble begining, but we are growing and looking for partnerships. 

As Peter Diamandis says "The world´s biggest problems are the world´s biggest opportunities". Nowadays, small teams of individuals can change the world. In our case, we are going to use the power of Bitcoin/Blockchain and the ubiquituous access of internet through smartphones to allow every individual in the planet to have access to responsible loans for education. 

Our dream is to live in a world where everybody has access to their educational dreams. Wanna dream with us? Send an email to edmilson@edudream.co or visit www.edudream.co or http://invest.edudream.co/

Update 01/21: We were contacted by a big corporation in Brazil that sells cosmetics through a network of sales women. We are discussing the idea of whitelabelling our plataform for them to invest in the education of them. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Check it out www.edudream.co . There you will find 960 people who applied for responsible loans. Take as an example Alma Corado (http://edudream.co/profile?p=928). She is an undocumented immigrant who came to the US as a child (she writes about it here: http://undocumented-unapologetic.tumblr.com/). She does not have access to most traditional loans, and is raising $10,000 to cover her senior year in college. Anyone interested in investing in her dream? Visit the page http://invest.edudream.co/.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

If you want to fund a dream, the educational loans range from $5,000 to $10,000, are used to cover directly the costs of tuition and the students sign contracts to pay back either (1) with agreed interest rate and fixed payments or (2) with a fixed percentage of their income over the years. Updated (01/12): We were selected as one of the 100 hotest startups created by Brazilians in the 100 Startups Movement. Update (01/17): One more dream funded. Yay!

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration
  • An Individual

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • Yes

Evaluation results

14 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea make college more accessible, especially for low income students in the U.S.?

Yes! - 35.7%

To a degree - 50%

Not that I can tell - 14.3%

2. Does this idea think beyond current cost structures of college and activate new sectors or partners?

Yes! - 57.1%

It's attempting to - 28.6%

Not that I can tell - 14.3%

3. How excited are you about this idea?

I'm so excited I just can't hide it! - 35.7%

I'm pretty neutral in my excitement level - 42.9%

I don't feel very excited about this idea. - 21.4%

20 comments

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Photo of Paul Cohen
Team

Hi Ed,
Thank you for sharing your idea. I have a couple questions:

1. By tying yourself to a loan in exchange for education, how do you make sure that the borrower (student) isn't chained to the sponsor's financial interest.
1 bis. What is the incentive for creditors? What sort of return are we talking about (sweat equity, etc.)

2. What criteria is used to define “success”. Is a graduate whose able to find a job upon graduation considered successful? What if someone decides they want to change the field of studies halfway through?

3. What if the job is done out of necessity to pay the debts rather than out of a personal pursuit driven by passion ?

4. My concern is on putting pressure on people to find the job because they feel obligated to do so.

5. If the graduates aren’t able to find a job, how does that affect them and the creditor? What insurance do they both have?

Caveat: The nature of Work is under-going a transitional phase, automatization and globalization are constantly shifting the demand/needs for work. What we consider a valuable career today may not be applicable in a couple years.
I am a proponent for promoting education at low-cost with a no-strings-attached.
My concern is that I feel that help, driven by financial incentives, even if out of good intentions, may ultimately fail to accomplish its original intent: helping students to get an education leading to acquire the personal skills.

Lowering the cost of education should be done out of sense of collective responsibility. I think this is one of those situations where we have to Act, rather than consider all possibilities and act only then.
A better analogy would be the decision by the US to fight in Europe during WWII. There were many ways to assess whether the danger was worthwhile or not, but it should not be an action taken out of consideration of options, but rather an act done out of pure necessity.

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