Today, Dutch fund manager XSML announced its investment in Aurora, a private sector school, focused on nursery, primary and secondary education for some 300 pupils, based in Kinshasa. This investment through its Central Africa SME Fund is the second in the educational sector in DRC and further contributes to the much needed development of the sector in DRC.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
In the last decades, education has been heavily affected by various crises sustained by the DRC. For years there has been insufficient public sector investment in education, leading to a lack of supply by existing schools. The increasing stability of the last eight years has allowed to rebuild some capacity but given the growth in the population and the current gap in supply there continues to be large deficit in affordable, quality education. There are many institutions, both public and private, which operate schools, including national and non-national programs. Focusing on lower middle and middle class households, at half the tuition fees, Aurora offers a cheaper alternative of equal quality to the Belgian and French schools at primary and secondary school level.
The president of Aurora, Mrs. Aurora Jayshree, states: our goal is to offer high quality French primary and secondary education at much more attractive rates than our direct competitors. This will help our pupils to get trained according to the high standards of the French Lycee system, helping them to be well prepared for an academic or professional life afterwards .
Marcel Posthuma, Managing Partner at XSML says: the high costs of international private education limit the access of lower middle class families to good education, preparing children to engage successfully on their growth path. Furthermore there is a lack of education of this level in Kinshasa and this has led to a lack of people sufficiently qualified to continue to university education. Aurora helps in filling this gap and allows more children access to high quality education.
Aurora is the tenth investment made by CASF and its seventh investment in DRC. CASF is an investment fund investing in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The fund believes in achieving sustainable economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship in the fast growing markets of DRC and CAR. Currently, many opportunities in these countries remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support. The multiplier impact of such entrepreneurial endeavors creates jobs and income. CASF is a USD 25m fund (target) with 80% allocation to DRC and 20% in CAR. CASF will provide risk capital with an investment size ranging from USD 100,000 to a maximum of USD 500,000. Investors in CASF are IFC, FMO and Lundin Foundation.
XSML is an independent private equity fund manager with a focus on emerging markets. As an architect, building new funds and local fund managers in frontier markets, XSML, eXtra Small Medium Large, aims to grow small businesses into medium and large enterprises. XSML was founded in 2008. The managing partners have an extensive background in emerging markets in the areas of asset management, corporate and development banking and corporate restructuring. Experience has shown that demand for finance from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains largely untapped despite increased interest from international investors in emerging markets. XSML bridges the gap between international investors and SMEs in emerging markets.
About Aurora ASBL
Aurora ASBL is a school established in 2012 offering French education at nursery, primary and secondary level. The school has been founded by Mrs. Aurora Jayshree who has longstanding experience in school administration in Kinshasa, with a degree in Accounting, Finance and Administration from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Aurora distinguishes itself by offering high quality education at international standards at affordable prices in Kinshasa.