PHASE 4

LAUNCHING THE GR-GEF VENTURE PHILANTHROPY FUND

Over the past 20 years we’ve learned that local leaders have promising ideas to improve education quality in their own communities. They need multi-year funding, data and milestones to track their progress, as well as storytelling and networking support. That’s why we’re combining our expertise with Girl Rising's storytelling and mass media expertise. The Girl Rising Global Education (GR-GEF) Venture Philanthropy Fund invests in social entrepreneurs with culturally-relevant ideas to improve education quality and gender equality for children living in poverty in Kenya and India.

 
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PHASE 3

INVESTING IN EDUCATION ENTREPRENEURS THROUGH GEF INNOVATION FUND 1

To address an urgent, unmet need, GEF launched a unique social impact fund in 2014. Our pilot fund invested in local education entrepreneurs with early stage ideas to improve education quality for young people living in poverty. Through GEF IF1, we helped these entrepreneurs develop their organizations for long-term sustainability through funding, mentoring, networking and other support. The fund has begun to serve as a pipeline for larger funders to bring ideas to scale and in other cases as avenues at exit for curriculum to be assimilated into government systems. Nearly all funded models were strengthened for growth.

 
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PHASE 2

EXPANDING SUPPORT FOR LOCAL NEEDS THROUGH GRANTS

GEF became a grantmaking organization in 2011, sending grants and other support to local educators and community leaders in Guatemala, Kenya and India. Initially we focused on needs brought forward by local leaders. We used this time to determine what types of grants and support were most needed at the local level, including common themes across different geographies, to advance education quality for children living in poverty. We have stayed in touch with our alumni grantees, following their impact and progress as well as helping broaden their networks to include like-minded organizations and prospective funders.

 
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PHASE 1:

SUPPORTING LOCAL REQUESTS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION

Global Education Fund was founded in 1998 in response to local communities and schools requesting help to set up and stock local libraries. GEF coordinated significant volunteer and corporate support to locate, box, and ship books and establish libraries around the world. GEF also addressed a local need for secondary school scholarships and leadership training in Kenya, ultimately shifting our US-led operations to a Kenya trust led by a local team and board which became a grantee.

 
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