The slums of India are filled with young, bright students waiting for their chance to get out of poverty. After spending some time in the slums of Southern India, I grew to understand that these kids have dreams and aspirations just like me. Whether it was to become a successful surgeon or a passionate entrepreneur. They were truly inspirational. Unfortunately, these amazing students do not have the luxury of higher education because of the lack of access to financial loans from private and public banks.
That is when the idea for "Invest in Me" emerged. What if I could fund a students education. Not as a gift, but as an investment. It reminded me of Kiva, but for individuals. Instead of keeping my money in CDs, mutual funds or other securities I wanted to give it to the young 10th grader "Anjali Reddy" I met at the Rosewood School in the slums of Jubliee Hills, Hyderabad. I believed in her, and her aspirations.
I believed that if I supported her, this would be a better return both socially and finacially. Socially, she would be able to stop the cycle of poverty for her family. Financially, I beleived that yielding a percentage of her life-time income was far more profitable for me than the 5% interest in a CD. It was a marketplace that benefited both parties. I asked several wealthy individuals across India if they would diversify their portfolio in this way, and simultaneously asked several aspiring students if this sounded like a reasonable financial option. The overwhelming response was "yes, lets do it."
I am using this class, to explore this idea. I do not expect to do any of the front-end or back-end eng, simply a fun excercise.