WDB Investment Holdings invests in SPARK Schools
Johannesburg: Tuesday, April 2, 2019: In a ground-breaking achievement in the South African independent school field, WDB Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd (WDBIH) has made a significant investment in SPARK Schools, becoming the educational institution’s first local institutional investor.
SPARK Schools and WDB Investment Holdings has entered into a partnership that will allow SPARK Schools to grow its current portfolio of 21 schools across the country and provide quality, affordable education to South African children.
Faith Khanyile, CEO of WDBIH says: “WDBIH has been a game-changer in women advancement and transformation in South Africa and we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to access quality education as a necessary step in empowering a nation. Therefore, as WDBIH, we seek to make a contribution in transforming our country’s education system through our investment in SPARK Schools. We are very excited to team up with partners who share our values and vision.”
Adds SPARK Schools CEO and co-founder Stacey Brewer: “We are very excited to be partnering with WDBIH to ensure that more families across South Africa have access to high-quality education. SPARK’s vision is for South Africa to lead global education, and we believe that by having strong partners like WDBIH, it will really enable us to achieve this vision. We look forward to walking this journey with them.”
Established in 1996, WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) is a women-founded, led and operated investment holding company, which seeks to be a strategic and transformational investor in both listed and unlisted companies. In addition, WDBIH targets investments that have a broader social impact within the property, education and healthcare sectors. Some of its key objectives include playing an active and strategic role in its investments through their board seats and ensuring the financial sustainability of its 100% shareholder, the WDB Trust. The WDB Trust is mandated to bring about both economic upliftment and social advancement of poor rural women in South Africa.
The story of SPARK Schools is well-documented. CEO Stacey Brewer was committed to improving educational outcomes for South African schoolchildren and toured the world to uncover the best educational models which provided both quality and affordable education.
In 2013, SPARK Schools became the first “blended learning” school on the continent with 161 scholars in one school. Fast forward to 2019 and the institution is currently educating more than 10 000 scholars in 21 schools, including SPARK’s first high-school which opened in Randburg in January this year.
Brewer explains: “Our blended learning model combines direct instruction with the use of technology that allows us to personalise the needs of every child.”
SPARK uniquely maintains an absolute focus on ensuring high-quality teaching and learning at reasonable costs. Results show that the average SPARK scholar is ahead of his/her peers by at least one grade level in reading and maths.
Last year SPARK Schools ranked third in online publication SA Diaries list of the top 10 private schools in Johannesburg.
Says Brewer: “With this new, generous and highly appreciated round of capital we aim to continue on an ambitious growth path serving as many communities across South Africa as possible.”
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