In June 2014 DEEPEN held its first stakeholder forum targeting financial institutions (FIs). The forum aimed to disseminate pertinent information from DEEPEN’s “Schools as a Sustainable Business” (2014) research, highlighting the market opportunity for FIs to engage with private schools. Following this event DEEPEN was able to secure agreements with several interested FIs and one partner, Accion Microfinance Bank (MfB), used the information shared at the event to develop a tailored school loan product.
The second DEEPEN finance forum was held in March 2016 to share experiences and lessons learnt by DEEPEN and FI partners such as FirstMonie, Sterling and Accion in serving private schools. During this event, there was a call for greater government support to enable schools to access affordable finance - with government regulation that has exacerbated the pandemic of unapproved schools identified as a key barrier. Following the event several FIs took on board the learning from the presenters in developing their strategies for targeting the low-cost schools market.