Growth Lab supports African education entrepreneurs who (1) lead and operate impactful organizations; (2) have a compelling vision for impact and student learning; and (3) have a vision to grow their impact in the next 3 to 5 years.
Participating in an intensive, six-week program, Growth Lab edupreneurs work through a curated learning experience that prepares their organization for key growth milestones.
Oluwaseun Kayode of Schoolinka, a former teacher serving a low-income community, sees teacher training as the key to unlocking transformational learning across the continent. He applied to Growth Lab after a year spent translating his in-person teacher training business into a virtual experience due to Covid. “Growth Lab helped me gain more clarity of our growth trajectory by redefining what success means,” said Oluwaseun. “I’ve been in accelerator programs before, but the intensity of the Growth Lab is something I have never experienced before. Thanks to the Growth Lab, we can position ourselves better and can achieve much more. In the end, educators can access quality professional development at a cost that’s affordable for them.”
Cheshe Dow of the Dow Academy, a primary and secondary school in Botswana, said, “Growth Lab was incredible.” She found it refreshing to meet and work with peer entrepreneurs across the continent: peers who understood the challenges she faced and were shaping the future of education in Africa. Growth Lab helped Cheshe articulate the “Dow Academy Difference” – the ways in which her school collaborates with local and global partners to create environments that prepare each child to take ownership of their learning journey.
Week 1: Articulating Your Model
Week 2: Understanding Growth Requirements: Organization Culture
Week 3: Understanding Growth Requirements: Measuring What Matters
Week 4: Understanding Growth Requirements: Financial Management
Week 5: Understanding Growth Requirements: Funder Communication
Week 6: Planning for Growth: Strategy
Edupreneurs receive structured feedback from experts on their weekly outputs, and earn small grants in support of their efforts. All Growth Lab participants become lifelong members of the ALforEducation network. Additionally, FFE and ALforEducation invite those with demonstrated readiness to scale to join the ALforEducation Accelerator program.
In 2021, working in partnership with African Leadership for Education, we launched the Growth Lab to accelerate the impact of high-potential edupreneurs across Africa. Our first cohort included 33 organizations from 11 African countries.