WES Announces New Investment in 8B Education Investments

Monday June 10, 2024

World Education Services (WES) today announced an investment in 8B Education Investments, a social fintech company specializing in supporting African students to attend global universities. 8B facilitates fair student loan financing and support services.   

WES’ catalytic investment will help 8B unlock additional student loan capital from its banking partners to bring education finance to African students at scale. The investment aims to enable more accessible, inclusive higher education opportunities for African students in global universities.

African students who study globally often face a financing gap that is unmet by existing scholarships. 8B estimates that two-thirds of African students with offers from global universities fail to enroll because of a lack of financing. To address this gap of financial access and inclusion, 8B provides students with essential resources and support services to reach their educational goals.

“As a social enterprise with 50 years’ experience in global higher education, WES is thrilled to partner with 8B Education Investments to ensure inclusive access to educational and economic opportunity,” said Smitha Das, Senior Director of Investments at WES. “We’re excited to provide catalytic support, through WES’ first guarantee, that can unlock even more loan capital for African students as they pursue their educational and career goals.”

8B’s unique approach leverages partial guarantee capital to reduce lending risk. By capitalizing on investments from organizations with aligned incentives, such as WES, 8B has created a first-loss capital layer, sharing risk and attracting capital from lenders. This innovative model expands the availability of fair education financing for African students, enabling access to global educational opportunities.

Founded by Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, D.Phil., 8B Education Investments is deeply rooted in the belief that education can transform lives. Bosire’s own journey began in a village in Kisii, Kenya, where her aspirations combined with luck led her from local schooling to Cornell University and later, Oxford University. The challenges she faced along her education journey motivate 8B’s mission to transform African access to financing for global education.

“We are thrilled and grateful to be working with WES as we enable more African students to pursue their global education dreams,” said Bosire. “WES has an unmatched finger on the pulse of global education mobility, and we are excited that they are betting on our approach to expand the African footprint in the global colleges and universities. This partnership will contribute to encouraging more universities to recruit African students, knowing that they can better secure the financing required to enroll.”


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