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As a for-profit social enterprise, Edukasyon.ph advocates for education (SDG #4) by providing high-quality services that help students and educators alike. They focus on three main services that contribute to the holistic empowerment and development of both the youth and the people through Edge Tutor, Explore, and Empower.
Henry Motte-Muñoz, a French-Filipino business leader, founded Edukasyon.ph in 2015 after discovering a disparity and information asymmetry in the Philippines. Henry moved to Manila to start this social enterprise after having worked for a top 3 consulting firm in London. Motte-Muñoz, who had already founded another social enterprise called Bantay.ph before this, was able to impact the company positively. Edukasyon.ph mainly operates through its website offering a wide array of services. They focus on three main products in their portfolio, namely: EDGE TUTOR, a tutoring service for students up to senior high school; EXPLORE, a platform that helps students choose their senior high school stands, college or university, and course; and EMPOWER, which promotes building life skills outside of the classroom to expose them to holistic learning service.
“Before the pandemic, there was a 2-year gap in education; now, because of the pandemic, it likely has grown to 4 years. The pandemic has negatively impacted our education.” - Grace David, CEO of Edukasyon.ph.
The for-profit company aims to balance being profitable while advocating for quality education and bridging the learning gap during the pandemic. In 2020, Motte-Muñoz passed the mantle to Grace David as CEO of the Company.
Grace David, who worked in a corporate organization for years before making the transition to the education industry, wanted to find a way to create a positive impact. Her experience in Indonesia during her graduate studies exposed her to social entrepreneurship, where she discovered her passion.
Together with Motte-Muñoz, David expands Edukasyon.ph’s reach, partnering with various organizations (both non-profit and student organizations) to help empower students by creating modules that promote civic education and sex education. What makes Edukasyon.ph different from other organizations, according to David, are two things: their calling and their purpose. Edukasyon may be a for-profit business, but they are also there “to make a positive impact.” Speaking to their purpose, their talents are “not only very skilled but also very passionate.”
While working abroad, Henry Motte-Muñoz noticed a disturbing trend in the ratio of students that enter high school and those that are qualified to get a job after obtaining their college degree. David also observed the trend, citing in a chart she read that, “Every year, about 2 million Filipinos are turning 18 years old. Out of those 2 million, about 1.8 million went to high school, but only half got to graduate, and only half of that goes to college. Amongst those who go to college, only half graduate.” This is an alarmingly low rate compared to other countries wherein college graduates are coveted.
David also adds that only about half are qualified by the time they graduate. At the end of that funnel, out of the 2 million 18-year-old Filipinos, “10% are only qualified to get a job, even if they went through the entire education system.”
This statistic was one of the inspirations that pushed the founder and the current CEO to dive into the education space.
Edukasyon.ph helps deliver short-term and long-term positive impacts in society through its various programs, initiatives, and partnerships. The enterprise allows information to be readily available to a broad audience because its website is available 24/7. People can now get key information that could not be easily accessed in the past, as gathering complete information required physically visiting multiple schools. The information is now easily obtainable and includes learning programs that the youth can pursue. David said, "We can provide key information to eight million Filipino youth who want to find out more details about education and what could be the learning options available." Edukasyon.ph stays true to its mission of providing quality information for the Filipino youth's learning decisions. The enterprise is running 44 different nationwide projects to provide holistic learning to Filipinos.
According to David, it is not just Edukasyon.ph that is passionate and concerned about education and Filipino youth. She stated that there are a lot of other organizations that feel the same way. Through the enterprise, different organizations, companies, and brands can participate in the education space. Edukasyon.ph serves as a bridge for these groups to directly participate in improving education.
The company's long-term goal is to improve the education-to-employment journey as it fights the statistic of 10% of students landing a job. Through the different modules it provides, it empowers thousands of Filipinos, advancing their skills and qualifying them for a career. Moreover, Edukasyon.ph believes that life skills are equally crucial as Filipinos' academic and technical learning. This has driven the team to administer a Sex Education module (SDG 4.7) where they objectively discuss with the learners what sex education is and the options available. This equips the students with a broader knowledge and perspective on various social matters and allows them to make more informed decisions.
Furthermore, just last year Edukasyon.ph partnered with Asia Foundation to encourage the youth to register and educate them about the value of participating in the local and national elections. As the youth becomes politically active and involved, they become key players in community development, empowered citizens with a developed knowledge of human rights and citizenship, and advocates of positive civic action.
Edukasyon.ph has consistently advocated for quality education as it is their primary motive in pushing changes in the country's education sector. Although, what makes them unique is that they can still create a for-profit business model that is both profitable and socially impactful. David emphasized, "We're going to build a for-profit business, but we want to make a social impact." They do this by enabling Edukasyon.ph to allow millions of students in the Philippines to access educational resources anytime and anywhere.
They have successfully transformed education through innovation and extended their global presence, allowing them to deepen their focus on product development and create more meaningful yet measurable engagement with their users. Today, they draw 10 million annual users that visit their platforms as it is readily available to high schools, colleges and universities, scholarships, online courses, and other resources that enable successful education to pave the way for employment opportunities. Through their EDGE TUTOR, EXPLORE, and EMPOWER, they were able to build partnerships with more than 500 educational institutions and 50 corporations and foundations, becoming the largest ed-tech platform in the Philippines and having raised over US $5 million.
With its solidified presence, expanding the company's coverage was passionately supported by impact investors, family offices, and angel investors across Asia and Europe. This included Mustard Seed, Villgro Philippines, French Partners, KSR Ventures, and many more. Edukasyon.ph was able to raise a total of its funding over six rounds, with their latest funding raised last June 30, 2022, from a Convertible Note round.
They have received numerous recognitions for their work in reimagining learning within each student, including the 2017 Financial Times / IFC Transformational Business Award for Achievement in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Education, Knowledge, and Skills, as well as the 2017 ASEAN Youth Social Entrepreneurship Awards. They were also included in the 2016 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Accelerator Program. It continues to grow with the help of its three products in its business portfolio: EDGE Tutor for K-12 foundational academic support, EXPLORE for high school-college enrollment assistance — where the website FindUniversity.ph also operates, and EMPOWER for supplementary learning, career, and advocacy services — all aimed at providing a holistic experience for every learner's need.
Edukasyon.ph tackles SDG 4, which focuses on providing quality education. Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality education for everyone is the company's primary goal, significantly when the global pandemic and lockdowns hindered learning opportunities for many. By providing an efficient online platform that utilizes practical tools and mentors, Edukasyon.ph can respond to this problem.
As of 2020, the business had already engaged half a million students since its creation in 2013 (Cruz, 2020). While this may be far from its target of half of the country's high school and college students, or the eight million students and unemployed youth, it is still an impressive step towards equal access to education. However, education is just one of the founder's goals, given that he was quoted by Cruz (2020) and insinuated that giving the youth a future will lead to the country's future. It is clear that the purpose of the enterprise is not limited to one SDG but is instead indirectly addressing the others. For example, SDG 3.7 access to health and sexual education and SDG 5.6 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are all part of the company's goals.
Aside from the issue of quality education, the company can indirectly tackle the 10th goal, or reduced inequalities, by providing lifelong learning opportunities to unemployed young people due to their lack of qualifications. This is also able to address the 17th goal because while it empowers individuals through education and reduces inequalities, the company also assists in maximizing the effectiveness and productivity of individuals through its learning tools that give them immeasurable value. At present, it has already garnered attention from international institutions, including the Financial Times. Its most notable partner is ASUS Education, which has goals in line with theirs.
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Grace David, Chief Executive Officer
Edukasyon.ph is a for-profit social enterprise that advocates for quality education and change by offering products and services that empower students and teachers alike. The organization focuses on the Education Technology sector, making online education accessible and effective for students.