Education: Generating Returns. Sustainably Challenge


Overall there is an estimated $2.5 trillion annual funding gap towards the UN SDGs as a whole. Yet versus global financial flows this figure represents a drop in the ocean. Hence, it is critical to galvanise private capital towards solving these global challenges. Indeed, Education is the cornerstone of sustainable development and investing in education is associated with a demonstrably positive multiplier effect towards achieving many of the other SDGs.

Credit Suisse is committed to applying our longstanding expertise in the philanthropic education sector to assisting for-profit enterprises that have SDG 4 – Quality Education for all – at the heart of their operations. Having launched our Global Education Initiative in 2008, which has been the central umbrella supporting all of the firm’s philanthropic activities across the globe, Credit Suisse has gained significant insight into the most effective ways to contribute to meaningful and systemic change in education. Over the past decade, we have partnered with organisations such as Plan International, Aflatoun International, Room to Read and the Roger Federer Foundation to advance best-in-class education initiatives. Credit Suisse also has a long legacy in Impact Investing, having celebrated 15 years of Investing for Impact in 2017 and with the creation of the Impact Advisory and Finance Department with a truly global mandate.

By combining our expertise in the fields of Education and Impact Investing, with this contest Credit Suisse is aiming to support for-profit enterprises operating towards SDG 4. The winning business plan will not only receive the prize funding from Credit Suisse, but will also receive mentoring and non-financial support including the opportunity to be part of the Credit Suisse Global Citizens programme which provides opportunities for Credit Suisse employees to lend their time and skills to support our partners in the field.

Credit Suisse is proud to support the Lead 2030 Challenge for SDG 4. The Challenge aims to surface and support impactful enterprises that look to further narrow the gap in achieving SDG 4. Credit Suisse welcomes entrepreneurs with for-profit enterprises in the field of education to submit their business plan for consideration.

Our challenge welcomes submissions that are directly or indirectly tied to making an impact on education broadly defined. We are open to considering businesses targeting primary, secondary and higher education as well as those focused on vocational education, skills based training, education themes such a STEM or simply addressing the infrastructure of education.

We are looking for businesses with the following criteria:

  • For-profit enterprises fostering innovation, creativity and critical thinking in the Education space.
  • Enterprises with sound business models that are or have the potential to be financially viable in the long term as well as having a measurable social impact towards improving Education.

Examples include (but are not limited to) businesses focused on:

  • Education systems
  • Education technology (Edtech)
  • Providing or facilitating access to education
  • Enhancing the measurement of outcomes/impact of education investments
  • Creative funding models for education.

All submissions will be reviewed by a panel comprised of Credit Suisse personnel, education specialists, and investors.

The winning solution will receive

  • A $50,000 grant from Credit Suisse
  • 12 months of mentorship from a team of Credit Suisse employees and partners. The mentorship team will work to accelerate your solution by assisting with aspects such as:
    • Business strategy
    • Best practices for data collection
    • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Product design
    • Marketing

Application deadline: 5 January 2019

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