Jillion Sambo, Head of Operations at Educate Zimbabwe, talks about how diaspora can help increase access to education
We wanted to enable people to utilize those in the diaspora to help them secure financing for education.
January 9, 2020
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Access to quality education is a key aspect of our mission at SympliFi. That is why we were excited to launch our first product in Zimbabwe with an education lender. As we prepare for the new school term in Zimbabwe, we wanted to take the time to introduce our community to our education lending partner in Zimbabwe, Educate.

We sat down with Jillion Sambo, Head of Operations at Educate to discuss their mission to increase access to education in Zimbabwe and their partnership with SympliFi.

Jillion, can you start by telling us about Educate?

Yes of course. Educate is a Zimbabwean-based education access and people improvement company. We offer loan products to Zimbabwean residents as a means of improving access to resources that position them for success, such as school fees loans, university fees loans, staff improvement loans and capital development loans. Our loan products enable students to attend any one of our 53 education institution partners across Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Zambia and South Africa.

We are a registered microfinance lender, and are headquartered in Bulawayo, with a branch in Harare.


What made your company decide to focus on education?

It was a personal experience. Our Co-founder almost lost his seat in college because of funding. That experience sparked a desire to improve access to education especially after experiencing the positive benefits of a quality education. We believe in the power and ability of a self-aware and well educated population in changing the fortunes of a nation. The earlier we invest in the process of equipping our people to learn and apply the better placed we will be as a nation. Therefore, our goal is to fund the future so that children can be what they were born to be. This is our mission and the source of our passion.

Our experience has made us aware that access to quality education is a challenge for many of our people. We have witnessed the pain of watching a student lose their seat in school because their parents could not make the required fees payment. Success for us will be when no Zimbabwean is left behind because of the options/ pathways we create that keep students in school and on course to succeeding. Our products and services are tailored to empower and enable students to pursue their academic dreams in a way that allows their parents to have a structured way of making school fees payments and accessing resources that facilitate growth.

Tell us why you decided to partner with SympliFi?

Obtaining financing in Zimbabwe can be challenging, especially in the current economic conditions. We want to make it a little easier. Knowing that a lot of Zimbabweans receive financial support from family abroad, we wanted to enable people to utilize those in the diaspora as guarantors to help them secure financing for education. SympliFi’s platform facilitates that for us through an online channel. As a result, we can now provide our loan products to more people. It’s a win-win for us and our customers.

How exactly does it work?

It’s quite easy, that is why we love the platform. You can apply for a school fees or university loan directly with Educate or you can request a loan from us through the SympliFi website. In the application you provide us the details of your guarantor in the diaspora. We process your application and then the diaspora completes the guarantor process online in a matter of minutes through the SympliFi platform. The service is also fee-free for the diaspora, so we believe this can be more beneficial than sending money. The Symplifi platform allows us to stick to our processing time promise of delivering a response within 24 hours.

Which of your loans can people use family abroad as guarantors?

Our School Fees loans, which covers the cost of termly tuition fees. And our University Loans for formally and informally employed individuals with students accepted to study at any university Educate has partnered with across Southern Africa. People can find out which schools and universities we work with on our website.  

Thank you Jillion. We appreciate your time and good luck with the upcoming term.

To find out more about Educate @ https://educate.co.zw/

To apply for a diaspora education loan @ https://app.symplifi.co.uk/en/request/