Submitted on Thu, June 25, 2015
Submitted by: Tsega Belachew on 06/25/15
Ashoka is honored to announce that Ashoka Fellow (elected in 2006), Felipe Vergara, will be joining our board of directors in the coming year.
Felipe Vergara is a pioneering social entrepreneur. He has launched four organizations in the education and finance industries, won several entrepreneurship awards and was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006. His latest organization, Lumni, is an innovative addition to the field of human capital financing; that is, investing in individuals who have the potential to achieve great things in the future. The Lumi fund enables undergraduates or students at technical colleges to have more financial support than they previously were able to attain.
Lumni was born out of an inefficient higher education market in South America (Lumni has now been scaled and also operates in the United States). Before Lumni, there was widespread corruption in the sector and it was creating an environment in which young people were restricted from receiving higher education due to the fact that a family’s political influence and wealth determined the ability to access loans.
Lumni is able to overcome this by creating a system of funding that not only provides financing to the most promising and eager students but also allocates those funds in a way that is aligned with the direction the nation is headed. If veterinarians are needed, then the value of that investment is far greater for Lumni than investing in other students. Lumni provides this financing in return for a commitment to pay back a certain proportion of their income for the first few months of graduate employment.
In the coming year, Felipe will take on a new role as a member of the board of directors of Ashoka. “We are thrilled that Mr. Vergara has agreed to join the board,” said Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka,” his experience in Latin America and his work as a social entrepreneur will help expand our reach in Latin American and bring new perspectives and insights to our work.”
Felipe will be an invaluable addition to our board. Bringing not only his stellar track record as a highly acclaimed social entrepreneur but also his everyday exposure to the operation of a successful social enterprise. He has an impeccable understanding of the fundamentals of a successful team and will bring great value and deep commitment to the “everyone a changemaker” vision.