Investing In China’s Future One Student At A Time
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
For Calvin Chin, the road to higher education requires just a few hundred dollars at the right moment.
Take Winnie, for instance. She was a senior at Guangzhou University when her father had to quit his teaching job because his eyesight started to fail him. He went back to working on the family farm, making enough money for food, but not for Winnie’s tuition.
“Winnie still owed money for two semesters, about $700 USD. Her school couldn’t give her a diploma until she paid. Winnie tried to raise money to help her family by selling things on campus, but it wasn’t enough,” Calvin recalled her predicament.
Calvin founded Qifang in 2007 to help students like Winnie complete their education. The nonprofit has a simple strategy utilizing social networking to connect university or graduate students who need money with investors looking to make a difference and a profit. The organization reduces investor risk by allowing them to invest small amounts, in multiple students at a time. Qifang fills a void in China’s higher education system. According to the China Education and Research Network, approximately two million students received state education loans in 2006, while approximately 27 million students graduated from higher education institutions between 2006-2010.