The ROI of attending college in the developing world can be as high as 80%, and increase graduate income by 3-5x (compared to a 1.5x increase from a degree in the developed world). Despite this outsized return, it is often financially impossible for students to get a degree no matter how talented they are. At Brighter Investment we are changing that: we have developed an opportunity for investors to back the professionals of the future, and share in the financial upside.
In developing countries, 60 million students graduate from high school every year with the grades, potential, and ambition to attend college, but not the financial means to do so. The business model of traditional banks is unfit to finance this market opportunity through student loans, and government/NGOs simply don’t have the capital to address this need.
Brighter Investment has developed a data driven and proprietary selection algorithm that predicts students’ career potential. This allows us to partner with the brightest students most likely to generate returns on their education investment.
We have created the opportunity for investors to support a diversified cohort of first, second, third, and fourth year high potential students through their next year of higher education. At graduation students repay a fixed percentage of their income for a set duration. A combination of social, practical, and legal incentives are in place to ensure that students make their monthly repayments after graduation.
The percent-of-income repayment model means some students will repay more than others, but investors are backing a diversified portfolio of students, and the total return is driven by predictable average graduation, employment, and income rates.
Over the last 20 years, wages in developing countries have grown 5% faster year on year than they were diluted by inflation and sinking exchange rates. Since repayment is based on graduates’ wages, investor return is hedged against inflation risk. The volatility of wage levels in developing countries has been 5.4% over the last 20 years. The volatility of S&P500 returns has been 18% in this same period.
If properly educated, students in the developing world increase their income 3-5x, live longer, pay more taxes, are more likely to educate their children, and create jobs for people with less education.
The social return of this investment easily outperforms any scholarship charity: an equivalent investment in Brighter Investment, with distributions reinvested for 25 years, results in 10 times the graduates of the scholarship charity.