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Hi David Lipinski thank you for your kind words. I am glad you asked!

One of our design principles of last-mile education is "Hand-up, not a hand-out." The tuition fee varies depending on the location and the availability of partners to subsidize the costs in kind (e.g. free rent, utilities from local government or from university partners). We partner with microfinance institutions to provide study now pay later loans so that the students don't have to worry about paying until they have got a job. To make this attractive to microfinance, we share the risk of defaults with philanthropic funders who like to see their funding cycle back through monthly payments from employed students. Employers also contribute by paying us placement fees.

We are betting that in long term, experiments like these create a more sustainable way of job-skill training rather than being fully dependent on donor led and government scholarships, which instead should go to paying for a more needy, disadvantaged youth for last mile education (e.g. a bridging program into our bootcamps). But we certainly need philanthropy and government funding to subsidize the cost of running these experiments.

Hi Mona Lisa Karene , thank you for your encouragement! You are right, our model can't work without available existing formal jobs. The good news is that there are companies, particular outsourcing companies who are going to lower tier, provincial cities where talent is cheaper and hungrier. For communities who do not have access to formal employment, but have the digital infrastructure, I believe that digital freelance work could enable farmers and non-formal employed workers to access the digital, gig economy.

Gus, great to see you applying for the prize! All the best!