8B Education Investments launches $111,600,000 initiative to Finance African student education at The Clinton Global Initiative

8B Education Investments partners with Nelnet Bank in the first ever lending program by a US bank to African students enrolled in Americanuniversities; $30m over three years part of a broader $111.6m Commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to Accelerate African students’ Access to Global Universities

New York, NY, Sept. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 8B Education Investments partners with Nelnet Bank in the first ever lending program by a US bank to African students enrolled in American universities; $30m over three years part of a broader $111.6m Commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to Accelerate African students’ Access to Global Universities  

8B Education Investments is honored to announce its partnership with Nelnet Bank as part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2022 meeting. With this partnership, Nelnet Bank has agreed to originate $30 million of loans over a period of three years in support of 8B’s lending program that enables African students to pursue their studies in United States (U.S.) universities. During the CGI meeting, 8B will announce a total of $111.6 million in funding commitments from a range of partners unified in their commitment to enable world-class education for the next generation of African innovators.

The partnership, enabled by 8B’s use of innovative credit enhancement to guarantee losses incurred by Nelnet for the duration of the loan program, makes Nelnet Bank becomes the first U.S. bank to ever support lending to African students attending U.S. universities at scale. 

“Until now, African students have had limited access to global universities with enrollment largely depending on the luck of obtaining a scholarship,” said Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, 8B’s founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “The world has underinvested in African brilliance. As a result, every year, hundreds of thousands of African students obtain offers from world-class universities and fail to enroll, largely due to a lack of financing. We are thrilled that our partnership with Nelnet Bank will help us to provide financing for this underserved group of brilliant students and create an example on how to accelerate African access to global innovation ecosystems.” 

8B estimates that the 500,000 African students enrolled in global universities represent 30 percent of students who received offers from such universities. Consequently, Africans are underrepresented in global universities and, by extension, in global innovation ecosystems.

“Our partnership with 8B is a historic step in the history of student lending and a giant leap forward toward increasing access for African students,” said Andrea Moss, CEO of Nelnet Bank. “Together, we will be able to provide opportunity to one of the fastest growing student demographics in the world and one that has been overlooked for too long. Nelnet Bank is thrilled to be working on this together with our colleagues from 8B Education Investments.” 

As the first fintech solution focused on African students, 8B is committed to enabling African brilliance to have a global impact. 8B provides tools to enable African students to identify best-fit global universities and level up their applications, access affordable financing and connect with career support for job placement.

"There are few affordable student lending options for African learners though there are a broad swath for international students. Nelnet's bold loan funding commitment to 8b Education Investments will catalyze growth and unlock African excellence," said Debra Fine, Founding Board Chair of 8B Education Investments and Chair of Fine Capital Partners. "I have spent 35 years evaluating business opportunities. This partnership is one of the most extraordinary I have seen. 8B uses a proven business model to create value and extraordinary impact across Africa and the world. This partnership is an excellent example of how private capital can invest in the future of Africa."

8B and Nelnet Bank announced their partnership as part of the CGI meeting, which convenes global and emerging leaders to take action on the world's most pressing challenges. Within the CGI community, 8B has brought together a number of partners to support African access to global innovation ecosystems: Education and Testing Services (ETS) will provide fee vouchers to African students who are not able to pay the fees for tests required by global universities, University of Health Sciences Antigua will provide 50 percent tuition scholarships to African medical students, and World Resources Institute (Africa) will support paid internships for African graduate students in disciplines related to climate resilience. On the policy side, the Presidents; Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration will conduct research on the diversity practices of U.S. universities, focusing on policy-related barriers that face African students. Other partners include Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, Miles College and the Institute for African Development at Cornell University. 

8B’s CGI commitment, which will include students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), will accelerate African access to global innovation ecosystems and promote diversity and inclusion in global universities and workplaces. It will also build a scalable market-based model for financing world-class human capital development in low-income countries.

The partnerships have a combined value of $111.6 million that will be deployed over the next three years. These partnerships will transform the lives of over 1,400 future innovators from the African continent through affordable student financing and reach over 2 million African students in higher education.

Nelnet Bank

Nelnet Bank, Member FDIC, is an online bank that provides education lending products for students and families. Leveraging Nelnet's expertise from more than 40 years in student lending and servicing, Nelnet Bank serves diverse markets including students, young professionals and higher education. The bank carries forward Nelnet's commitment to our communities by creating scholarships for low-income students, providing local non-profit leadership and other direct community development investments.  Nelnet Bank received an Industrial Loan Company (ILC) charter in 2020. Nelnet Bank is a subsidiary of Nelnet, Inc. For more information, visit NelnetBank.com.

About 8B Education Investments

8B Education Investments is on a mission to empower African brilliance to have a global impact. Toward that end, 8B has built the first platform that connects high-potential African students with world-class colleges and universities and the tools they need to level up their applications, the financing options they need to enroll and the career support they need to realize their highest potential.

The impact of 8B's work is in providing global universities and employers a gateway to the world's youngest and fastest growing pool of diverse talent, while creating a critical mass of African innovators equipped to participate, compete and thrive in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

About Clinton Global Initiative

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI works with partners to drive action through its unique model. Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.


African Demographics Dr. Lydia Bosire

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