Bridging The Skills Gap

By Pauline Verhaeghe, Ashoka UK on the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards

Bridging The Skills Gap

Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education is also the strongest tool to lift people out of poverty. The founders of Avanti, a social venture based out of India, are working to bridge the skills gap and empower millions of children to transform their future educational prospective.

“The Ministry of Human Resource in India estimates that an urban child or a student from a high income background is 6 times more likely to go to college than a child from a low-income and rural background.” explains Krishna Ramkumar, co-founder of Avanti.

Avanti is an education program providing training and mentorship to bright and high potential low-income students in mathematics and science. Avanti Fellows work through a peer-to-peer approach to help these promising pupils prepare for entrance exams to universities.

Over the next ten years, Avanti wants to send over 100 000 students to university. But the founders of the social enterprise won’t stop there. Ramkumar and co-founder Akshay Saxena want to promote an alternative approach to education, moving away from a very expensive elitist model to a democratized model giving free access to training and resources.

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