Nigerian e-learning startup ScholarX has launched Village, an education crowdfunding platform that allows African secondary school and university students students to create fundraising campaigns for backing by sponsors.
Launched in Nigeria in July 2016, the ScholarX app allows users to select parameters and scroll through lists of available scholarships that match their requirements. Scholarships are available for undergraduate, masters and PhD students.
The startup, which expanded to Ghana in March of last year, has now rolled out Village, which allows students to create fund requests to help with costs such as school fees, accommodation, books and exam fees. Sponsors can search through the various profiles and fund those that appeal.
“The goal here is to help the bottom of the pyramid get an education. Thus we have created this platform where individuals willing to help can do so, with ScholarX being the conduit,” said ScholarX co-founder Bola Lawal.
Lawal said the growing youth population in Africa was a great concern, as the continent has millions of children out of school while the only way out of poverty is through education.
“When you look at issues with girls not being able to go to school due to lack of funds and the social ills they get exposed to to make ends meet, or huge youth unemployment figures which directly correlates with increased crime rates, you begin to seen the trend. Access to education is a huge problem,” he said.
With Village, ScholarX manages the entire process of fundraising, from reviewing and verifying the profiles, to disbursement of the funds directly to the school.