School of tomorrow: Queenswood Christian School, SA

For a financier that reaches out to entrepreneurs, what could be better than funding a school that gives wings to new generations of entrepreneurs? Queenswood Christian School (QCS) in Pretoria is just such a school, whose mission is to provide children with a quality of education that allows them to become entrepreneurs, taking charge of their own learning in a structured school environment.

Founded by educators Pastor Andre Nel and Erika Du Plessis who are serving as Head of Spirituality and Head Administrator respectively, QCS is the only school of its kind in the area, accredited by international franchises such as ACE and School of Tomorrow.

The school has far-reaching employment impact, enrolling students from lower to middle income backgrounds, and helping them become highly employable individuals in the community it serves. In fact, some of its students have grown to become valued members of the teaching staff at QCS.

Indeed, two decades down the line, there are generations of QCS goers whose parents studied here and are now sending their kids to the school due to their staunch faith in the QCS product offering and methodology.

QCS achieves these exceptional results through a combination of a value-based education system as well as an excellent teacher student ratio of 1 teacher and 1 assistant for each class of 16 students.

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However, the school was in need of a long-term facility to finance the acquisition of a new property to accommodate the growing number of students, but was hesitant to approach traditional financiers. GroFin believes in the school’s mission and has provided QCS a sizeable loan in excess of US$ 400k with a 1-year capital moratorium over an 8-year horizon, showing the strongest possible support.

“The chosen method of schooling has Christian principles at the heart of it and we firmly believe that both Andre and Erika are motivated by a higher calling. These are the kind of entrepreneurs we support – entrepreneurs with a conscience,” says Trevor Conradie, GroFin Investment Director for Southern Africa.

Besides finance, GroFin also provided business support to help the school formalise a new MOI which will allow it to purchase a property with loan funds and ensure its growth and continuity. Additionally, the school successfully completed its property inspection and received an expert opinion on the property’s suitability for a new school premises.

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The investment is expected to have high social impact with the continued enlightenment of 220 young minds, and 16 additional students to be enrolled each year. GroFin’s finance and support are also expected to have a high direct employment impact with 37 jobs to be maintained and eight more teaching staff to be employed, of whom 89% are women.