Many business investors oversee the opportunities for investing money in the educational sector. They perceive the South African education system through the image of poor, low-quality schools and community colleges. Let’s not forget that private higher education is here to balance out the crisis happening in the public sector. The students are getting more options as to where and what to study. However, businesspeople are also getting opportunities for investing in education in Africa.
In South Africa, private educational institutions are subjected to the same level of accreditation, regulation, and oversight by the Government. The smaller size of classes and campuses enables students to easily fit into the community. There is more staff per student, which means that students can easily get directions and answers whenever they struggle with the learning material.
Let’s talk about the investing opportunities in this sector, with the hope to inspire more investors to consider the South African educational system as an opportunity.
The Entire Continent Benefits from Private Investments in Education
The investing definition is pretty clear: “allocating funds to an asset or committing capital to an endeavor, with the expectation of generating an income or profit.” It conveys the fact that businesspeople are mostly concerned about profit. However, their audiences are getting more educated on world problems and they demand social responsibility from the brands they use. In other words, luring the buyer with an impressive marketing campaign is no longer enough. They will research your brand, trying to find out what causes it supports. They want their money to go to a good place.
Bridge International Academies is a U.S. company that operates private educational institutions across the African continent. Jay Kimmelman, Chief Executive of Bridge, directly explained the role that investments have in the progress of African countries: “By investing in social enterprises and other non-state actors, investors can improve government schools and help to create more high-quality learning opportunities, ultimately helping to transform the development path of low- and middle-income countries.”
This brings another issue to light: the social responsibility aspect of investments. It’s not just about the profit that investors get. It’s about what society gets, too.
The business will get recognized for assisting the educational transformation in an African country. This is something that buyers appreciate. Such activities will contribute to greater brand awareness, which directly boosts the profits.
The Investment Opportunities in the Private Sector Are Growing
The Business of Education in Africa report showed that 21% of children in African countries were being educated in the private sector. By 2021, this percentage is expected to rise to one in four children.
Over the next few years, $16 – $18 billion are needed in investment in the private education sector. When the monopoly of financing is taken away from the government, the quality of education increases. Private institutions will push public schools to improve the quality of services they provide.
Academic writing services are entering in African countries, and we’re seeing more students claiming: “I found a professional writer online and asked to write my essay for me.” This is a consequence of the poor instructions they get at school, combined with the high expectations for a decent grade. With improved quality across the entire educational sector, we’ll have fewer students giving up on their schooling without earning a certificate. South Africa has a problem with inequality of education quality between departments and community. The private sector has the means to remedy this flaw.
What Do the Investors Get?
Profit remains the driving force of each investment. Without promising profit on the long term, investors won’t be interested in the private education sector. They will turn to less demanding causes that would give them equal opportunities for marketing.
When education is seen as a business, it’s attractive from a few viewpoints:
- It’s an investment with a long-term revenue potential
- The demand for proper schooling in South Africa is higher than the supply
- The prices of private education grow steadily, and African countries are expected to follow that pattern
Private Investments Play a Critical Role
The largest estimated investment opportunity is in low-cost education for K-12 level. More than $8 billion are required in that sector across the continent. Strategic and commercial investors will benefit from entering the publishing industry, offering student finance schemes, investing in supplementary education, and providing teacher training.
African countries have massive challenges to meet in the educational sector. Private investments are crucial in that process. The South African government offers vibrant opportunities for partnership and collaboration. By investing money in the private sector, you will improve the access to education and equality of training that African children get. When a business supports such a noble cause, its target audience will notice it. More people will get educated on the struggle to educate children across the continent. The raised awareness matters, and it will lead to more investments.
BIO: Elizabeth Skinner is a blogger who loves traveling the world. She’s spent years exploring African countries and got interested in their educational systems. Elizabeth writes educational blog posts with the intention to raise awareness about the issues that African countries face in education.