[avatar user="Ted Hurlock" /]
Any endeavour which requires an investment for growth and advancement is a worthy candidate for crowdfunding. In the case of businesses finance it is required to drive growth and increase profits.
Education is also a worthy endeavour. It drives growth and aims to increase value to the community at large, albeit in the longer term. Even excluding higher education and focusing at primary school we can appreciate the inherent value in education and some would argue an inalienable right.
Education as in any investment for future value comes at a cost. The cost of education is not insignificant and can vary greatly in different cultures and societies. It can be too easy for communities to forgo education or narrow the scope of catchment to those deemed more worthy, better financed, or a ‘better investment’.
In the past the possible avenues for individual candidates to seek educational loans have been restricted and what routes were available have continued to dry up or become constrained.
Taking a crowdfunding approach to educational investment is at an early stage of evolution but one that could become main stream.
Unfortunately In the USA the concept has not found good traction. Some of the personal loan venders such as LendingClub and Prosper have withdrawn education as an accepted purpose for a loan.
Although it is very difficult to get any data on education loans in the USA this sort of data is more readily available in Europe. Bondora, one of Europe’s rapidly growing marketplace lenders offers loans for educational purposes and the demand is growing rapidly.
Education is also a long bet with expected returns coming in after a long run. And with the very dynamic nature of the internet, and a real prospect of change, potential lenders could be quite fickle in regard to making an altruistic investment which will mature so far in the future.
As a concept crowd funded education makes for a good emotional story. But seemingly it needs the right marketing message to get real engagement.