We were featured in a feature on The World Economic Forum!

Jeff Maggioncalda, the CEO of Coursera, showcased the amazing work of the University of Virginia and Distance Education for Africa as a leading example and blueprint for other institutions to follow. The feature is about how institutions can collaborate to promote equitable workforce participation in the new digital economy.

Here is an excerpt highlighting our work:

3) Establishing a learning ecosystem with universities and NGOs to promote local business growth

Small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs were hit hard during the pandemic. Investment in these businesses will play an important role in economic recovery as countries look for ways to employ citizens and generate growth within their local communities.

Before the pandemic, the University of Virginia launched the Africa Scholarship Cohort in partnership with nonprofit, Distance Education for Africa (DeAfrica), and Coursera to improve gender equity and economic impact by offering scholarships to over 34,000 learners across 54 nations in Africa. In 2020, the programme expanded to offer courses from the University of London and new literature with business case studies written by scholarship recipients.

DeAfrica provides on-the-ground support and mentorship through local events and WhatsApp groups, and hosts graduation ceremonies for students. Due in part to this support, over 72% of learners completed their Coursera courses.

Access to cutting-edge business education and mentorship from local business owners are two key forms of investment typically afforded to MBA students. By involving multiple stakeholders, the University of Virginia is able to replicate that model, helping local SMEs and employers like Cellulant and Kenya Airways upskill their employees and grow their businesses.

To read the full article click here. Also, check out Dr. Kristin Palmer’s post on LinkedIn here: