In 2014, Wedu committed to introduce Future Income Sharing Agreement (FISA), a new form of financing higher education for 1,000 young women with strong leadership potential, from underprivileged backgrounds in South East Asia. The program will allow these students to receive one-to-one lifelong mentorship and funding for their education in exchange for a portion of their future incomes over a period of 10 years after graduation.
The young women, who will be referred to as Rising Stars, will aspire to achieve large scale social impact by developing their leadership potential, completing higher education, and becoming change-makers in their communities. Rising Stars will receive life-long mentoring, access to professional networks, and the support to build their '3Cs' - Confidence, Capacity, and Connection, which will position them to achieve their social impact goals.
Wedu is the first organization pioneering this new financial product across South East Asia. By showing the financial viability of FISAs for its target customer segment, Wedu expects to catalyze larger private investments toward tertiary education and create a more sustainable and scalable way to finance leadership development and education than scholarship. FISA will also be more affordable for students than student loans, which in places like Cambodia have interest rates as high as 25%.
Wedu has developed critical knowledge and skills for the creation of the FISAs with the support of the London School of Economics and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Moreover, it has developed a broad network of partners from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, and other Least Developed Countries in Asia. All of these resources will be allocated towards achieving the goal of support these young women.
Wedu will also galvanize leaders from across the globe to serve as mentors to the Rising Stars. The purpose is to develop a network of supporters who are invested in the young women's success as well as helping to enhance their network and social capital.
Sign the first FISA agreement and disburse the related amount
Reach 130 Rising Stars
Reach 300 Rising Stars and start receiving the first repayment on FISA
Reach 600 Rising Stars
Reach 900 Rising Stars
Reach 1,000 Rising Stars
Women face enormous and unfair challenges accessing leadership positions in politics and business (World Economic Forum). Only one in five members of the world's parliament are women; as low as 5% in Myanmar. Also, only a few CEOs are women (e.g. 5% in S&P 500 companies). On top of being unjust, this represents a massive missed opportunity for economic growth and peace. A growing body of literature associates more equitable leadership with more peaceful societies and higher economic growth.
Women often face a hostile cultural environment, especially in least developed countries, where their capacity for positive contribution is particularly needed. Many of them struggle to even start on a path toward leadership. Young women who have completed high school in Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, and beyond find it hard to enroll in higher education due to lack of access to information and financial resources, as well as cultural bias. The situation is particularly dire for those who lack the knowledge, network, and confidence to pursue leadership positions.
Wedu, a non-governmental organization that provides affordable financing and mentorship to young women in pursuit of completing higher education, believes there is wealth of talent among women in these countries, and investments in the development of this population now will lead to bold social and economic changes in the countries in which they live. Wedu aims to expand its current efforts to support more women on their path to leadership.
Wedu seeks technology development support, especially for Salesforce, mobile app, and web design. Wedu also seeks best practices for leadership development and models of individual growth, as well as funding to expand the program.
Wedu is always eager to learn best practice in financing for education, youth development, and mentorship, especially if focused on women and girls in Asia.
Wedu offers funding for higher education and will be happy to fund individuals from partner organizations.
Wedu can provide expertise on large scale mentorship, media support within their community, and best practices on individual leadership development.
Wedu is also offering to contribute to the implementation of other commitments focused on secondary and tertiary education, mentorship, and leadership development for women and girls, in Asia and beyond.