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Global Schools Forum’s interactive workshop on the margins of the Skoll World Forum: “How can entrepreneurs scale impact in education?”

Global Schools Forum recently held an interactive workshop on the margins of the Skoll World Forum to discuss how entrepreneurs can scale impact in education. The session convened entrepreneurs and funders from the non-state education sector to discuss and share insights and knowledge on scaling solutions to deliver impact in the education space.

Entrepreneurs offer many promising solutions to the education crisis. Yet they often find it challenging to scale the impact of their solutions or to secure financing for them. The workshop brought together some of the most impactful education entrepreneurs and funders to explore how tailored support and financing can help innovations on their pathway to scale.

The event featured speakers from Global Innovation Fund, Imaginable Futures, Jacobs Foundation, Labhya Foundation, Mulago Foundation, Rising Academies, SmartStart, and Street Child. The session provided an opportunity for GSF and attendees to reflect on how different education innovations and funders have iterated on their models, evidence strategies, and revenue models. It also drew on frameworks developed as part of our Impact at Scale Labs programme. GSF’s Impact at Scale Labs sources impactful education innovations and supports them to develop a strategy, implement scale, practice iterations on strategy and innovation and continuously share evidence.

Caitlin Baron, CEO Luminos Fund and Siven Maslamoney, Manager Yellowwoods Ventures Investments at the interactive workshop.

Initial scene setting involved exploring what the key features are that enable scaling innovations in the education space and beyond led by speakers Francesco Valente of Global Innovation Fund and Kevin Starr of Mulago Foundation. Alina Lipcan, GSF Director then presented an introduction to scaling innovation framework and to the session format. Group discussions explored topics relating to the DVF framework with Group 1 facilitated by Shikha Goyal of Imaginable Futures and Grace Matlhape of SmartStart, Group 2 facilitated by Paul Skidmore of Rising Academies and Libby Hills of Jacobs Foundation, and Group 3 facilitated by Richa Gupta of Labhya Foundation and Tom Dannatt of Street Child.

Meeting and hearing from other people who run amazing programmes was a real treat. The input from other experts on scaling other models that have worked with good evidence has been amazing.

Grace Matlhape, CEO SmartStart

Tom Dannatt, CEO Street Child and Richa Gupta, Founder and CEO Labhya Foundation at the interactive workshop.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for GSF to introduce our application and interpretation of the scaling framework from our Impact at Scale Labs programme using the framework as a focus for discussion on how to scale innovations.

Part of GSF’s strategy involves testing promising solutions with potential to scale so this session provided a fantastic opportunity to share learnings from our Impact at Scale Labs programme, learnings from the scaling framework, and to discuss and share this knowledge with a diverse group of entrepreneurs and funders.

Sharing thoughts on GSF’s framework, Susan Place-Everhart, CEO Sabre Education and Labs participant organisation told GSF: “The Lab’s scaling framework has been very helpful in providing structure and planning for Sabre as we develop our work with low-fee private schools (LFPS) in Ghana. Sabre could also apply the scaling framework to future project planning, as it really helps provide a thorough intervention assessment. Sabre is very excited about the next stages in this project!”

GSF will be sharing more updates, news and insights about our first cohort of Labs participants journey to scale using our framework as the first programme progresses.

Scale and models mean different things to different people. It has been great to talk about what scale has meant to us, and to hear different approaches and perspectives. It has been a really exciting and lively session.

Tom Dannatt, CEO, Street Child

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