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Question: What does ‘kwera’ mean?
Answer: Kwera means ‘to climb’ in Chichewa, Malawi’s native language.
Question: What is an ‘income sharing agreement’ (ISA)?
Answer: It is a financial structure in which an individual or an organization gives a fixed amount of money to a recipient who, in exchange, agrees to pay back a percentage of her/his income for a fixed number of years.
Question: What if a Student Climber does not get a job after graduation?
Answer: We believe all Student Climbers will get a job after graduation, as we build their employability and leadership skills, including assisting them with relevant internships while studying, and therefore prepare them as much as possible to be equipped, ready and valuable for the job market.
Question: Why is this not called a loan, it sounds like a loan?
Answer: Kwerafund invests in the future income of the Student Climbers. Contrary to a loan, which (often) has to be paid back with interest independent of whether a student has a job (income) or not after graduation, the investor bears the risk should a student not get a job (income) after graduation. Kwerafund has capped that period to 10 years.
Question: Are there interests on Kwerafund’s investments?
Answer: No, there are no interests on Kwerafund’s investments as we invest in the future income of our Student Climbers and don’t provide classic student loans.
Question: Why is this not called a scholarship, it sounds like a scholarship?
Answer: The Student Climbers have to pay 10% of their salary for 10 years after graduation capped 5 times the real value, and such returns are re-invested in new Student Climbers creating a sustainable business. Further, the Student Climbers have to follow and pass a leadership skills building program designed by Kwerafund. Scholarships are (often) free money without any obligations attached and not to be paid back.
Question: Is 10% for 10 years not too much and a big burden for the Student Climbers?
Answer: Based on extensive research we estimate that 10% for 10 years is necessary for Kwerafund to be sustainable and for us to achieve our dream: A skilled, higher educated person in every family. Please note, that the payback is capped at 5 times Kwerafund’s investment in real value.
Question: What does it mean that the payback is ‘capped at 5 times real value’?
Answer: When a Student Climber has paid 5 times the amount Kwerafund has invested in the Student Climber in real value (inflation is taken into consideration), the contract will end.
Question: What is Kwerafund’s focus when building the Student Climbers’ leadership skills?
Answer: Kwerafund will focus on soft skills, hard skills, and personal development.
Question: Kwerafund is a social enterprise, but are you non-profit or for-profit?
Answer: Kwerafund (Malawi) is a non-profit education fund exercised and executed like a for-profit organisation ensuring we always stay financially lean and are self-sustainable.