With many children around the world beset by poverty and poor educational prospects, Bridge International Academies is looking to export the innovative charter school model to international markets.
Using a school-in-a-box franchise model, the Kenya-based organization gives children a quality education for roughly $5 a month, beginning with early childhood development classes through 8th grade.
"Families are spending 15 percent of their income on schools because they know education is the key to getting out of poverty," said Jay Kimmelman in an interview with CNBC's "On the Money." The first Bridge International Academy opened in 2009.
Along with his wife, Dr. May Shannon, Kimmelman is the co-founder of Bridge International. The school operator counts a host of big names among its investors, including Bill Gates and Pierre Omidyar.
The charter school franchise is giving children the chance to have a solid education, regardless of their family's income. As a result of their work and success as the largest chain of private schools in Africa, The World Economic Forum named May and Kimmelman Social Entrepreneurs of the Year.
According to figures from The World Bank, one billion people will live in extreme poverty in 2015, while 2.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Average poverty rates in developing countries have slightly declined over the years, yet the number of people living in extreme poverty remains very high.
For many who live in developing economies, this means that access to good schools remains elusive, as the effects of poor education limits employment opportunities and increases inequality for women. Bridge International seeks to remedy this problem with a low-cost educational model.