UVA Darden Alumnus Combines Purpose and Profit to Improve Education in Africa
By Jay Hodgkins
University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Chinesom Ejiasa (MBA ’09) recently launched a unique fund, Sums 15 Holdings, and serves as principal with a goal to create systemic advancements in Africa’s education system while delivering competitive risk-adjusted returns to investors.
The move comes as a step he’s long been working toward, from his upbringing in the U.S. by parents from Nigeria to a successful career in international development. He shared more about his career and his latest venture on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.
“Around 2012, I started to become frustrated in how we, in the royal sense of the word, were investing,” Ejiasa said. “We made considerable investments in macro industries like financial institutions, commercial real estate, technology and infrastructure, but insufficient investment in human capital.”
His career experience — not to mention the six years he served on the board of Washington Latin Public Charter School — gave him the skills, insights and network to architect a more productive model to tap the power of return-seeking private investors to invest in human capital. The result is a new investment management company Ejiasa is developing with a goal to create systemic advancements in Africa’s education system while delivering competitive risk-adjusted returns to investors.
Through the company, Ejiasa will seek to answer the question of how to use private investment as a constructive tool to improve access to and the quality and relevance of Africa’s educational system.
“One has to invest across the entire educational value chain to materialize the change we truly want and need,” Ejiasa said. “Investment in quality teachers, quality school operators, quality facilities, quality curriculum, and more.”
Read the full profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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