South Africa faces enormous challenges when it comes to educating and empowering our youth. Every year hundreds of thousands of young people graduate and join the workforce or to pursue a tertiary education.
South Africa’s youth unemployment remains staggering and more and more young people are unable to gain a tertiary education due to a lack of funding.
Developing solutions to these challenges is the responsibility of all South Africans, however the private sector has an increasingly important role to play in finding new ways to address the challenges facing our education system.
One way they can do this is by exploring innovative ways of funding students.
In 2017 Standard Bank launched a partnership with crowdfunding initiative Feenix. The online platform provides both a tool for students to formalise their fundraising efforts and a channel for funders to find students they wish to support. Standard Bank acts as financier and go-to-market partner.
Crowdfunding is an important new funding model for education. The work being done by Feenix is something we as a bank are proud to be able to facilitate. For too many young South Africans access to education remains a challenge. The private sector must continue to support organisations such as Feenix which are coming up with innovative ways to address this.
To date, more than R30 million has been raised on Feenix, which has helped over 1000 students cover some of the costs associated with a tertiary education.
The real impact of this is that thousands of students can continue their studies without having to worry about funding them. Standard Bank has also linked its UCount Rewards programme to Feenix, and Standard Bank customers can use them to fund a student.
Feenix presents an opportunity for corporates and individuals to support education responsibly and transparently. Donors can see exactly who their money is going to and what it is being spent on. Importantly, they are contributing to solving one of South Africa’s biggest socio-economic challenges.
Initiatives such as Feenix are integral to ensuring that those who want an education and have qualified for one are not precluded from doing so as a result of funding. It is an innovative way of ensuring that many young South Africans can fulfil their potential. As a partner Standard Bank is committed to ensuring that more young people have access to education in South Africa.