The Multilateral Investment Fund announced today the approval of a US$837,000 grant for technical cooperation for a new merit-based private financing program for higher education in Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
The project will promote private sector involvement in the sustainable financing of human capital development based on more equitable access to quality higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean. It will also develop and systematize an innovative model that offers a private sector alternative to complement the traditional system of family financing, bank loans or scholarships.
Lumni, Inc. will carry out the program. It is a for-profit company whose purpose is to extend educational access to persons who are not able to afford to continue their studies. Its boards of directors in all three countries are composed of prominent local business owners.
Lumni’s funds attract capital from independent private investors to provide financing for high performing undergraduate and graduate students, as well as those in technical and vocational programs, independent of their families’ wealth. Felipe Vergara, co-Founder of Lumni, recently received an award for its work in social entrepreneurship from the Ashoka Foundation..
The program will help launch the initiative in Mexico and consolidate and accelerate Lumni’s growth rate in Chile and Colombia and launching it in Mexico by strengthening its management processes and information systems, adapting and developing a mentoring and job-placement system and acting as anchor investor for one pioneering human capital fund in each of the three beneficiary countries.
Local counterpart funds provided by Lumni will total US$613,000. The project will be executed through its subsidiary in Chile --Lumni Chile S.A.--.
The Multilateral Investment Fund is an autonomous member of the IDB Group that promotes private sector growth in Latin America and the Caribbean through grants and investments.
- Christina MacCulloch