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Sanlam Investments’ Alternatives business invests in Nova Pioneer’s school expansion in South Africa

12 January 2024 Sanlam Investments

As part of its Private Debt Fund investments, Sanlam Investments’ Alternatives business is pleased to announce a debt investment in Nova Pioneer South Africa (Nova Pioneer), a trailblazing educational institution dedicated to transforming the education landscape in South Africa and across the continent. Sanlam Investments will support Nova Pioneer with R40 million towards its working capital to support job creation and enable the institute to scale to 28 schools by 2028.

Nova Pioneer offers a unique yet affordable Cambridge International curriculum, providing students with an alternative, world-class learning experience that emphasises critical thinking, problem-solving, and character development. Nova Pioneer augments that core curriculum with a unique innovation and leadership programme, a Post-School Success programme and social emotional learning supports available to all its students. The institution has a proven track record of success, with 15 schools across South Africa and Kenya, and has consistently opened two new schools each year since its inception in 2015.

“We are excited to partner with Nova Pioneer South Africa to support its mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to students across South Africa and Kenya,” says Sedick Abrahams, Credit Analyst within Sanlam Investments’ Alternatives team. “Nova Pioneer’s innovative model and commitment to academic excellence align perfectly with our own values and commitment to investing in the future of education as part of our north star to empower all Africans to be financially confident, secure and prosperous.”

Abrahams adds, “By contributing specifically toward working capital, we’re also empowering Nova Pioneer to focus on job creation. This is a critical pillar in our country, which currently has an unemployment ratio of 31.9%.”

Chinezi Chijioke, CEO of Nova Pioneer says, “This partnership and investment are key to our aims of expanding our reach and contribution to the education sector. We seek to serve as pioneers of excellent 21st century education across South Africa and the continent, and Sanlam’s support fuels our ability to do that. Like Sanlam Investments, our vision is to build a better future for generations to come. We are excited to be partnering Sanlam Investments to solidify our position as a leading educational provider, and to uplift our country and continent.”

The investment in Nova Pioneer is part of the Sanlam Investments’ Alternatives business broader strategy to fund innovative companies that are making a positive, measurable impact on people’s lives. Abrahams adds, “It’s crucial that children have access to quality education to foster employability, locally as well as in a global arena”. In the latest Progress for International Reading Literacy study, 81% of South African grade four children couldn’t read for meaning.

“The Cambridge educational offering has proven to be outstanding in shaping young leaders. The model is internationally benchmarked, with a focus on academic literacy and myriad pathways for participants to qualify for post-graduate studies. We want more young people to be able to access this curriculum and the lifetime opportunities that accompany it.”

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