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Meadowhall Group Md Wants Incentives For Social Entrepreneurs

By Eric Eghaghe
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The Federal Government has been called upon to look into the possibility of establishing a special low interest rate fund to aid borrowings by private sector investors in social services as a means of halting the decadence in the nation’s crumbling social infrastructure.

Chief Executive Officer of MeadowHall Group, Mrs. Kehinde Nwani, made the appeal during a recent media roundtable in Lagos to announce the various on-going projects and activities of the Group and its subsidiaries.

She noted that the nation’s many infrastructure challenges make it wise for the government to encourage more social entrepreneurs to have access to low-interest rate loans in order to actualize the government’s dream of a private sector- led improvement in socio-economic areas such as health, education, child development, talent discovery and human capital enhancement.

“Drawing from our experience of the evolution of the MeadowHall brand from inception to date, we are convinced that the country still has a long way to go in achieving basic globally accepted standards as far as social infrastructure is concerned. The needs are really massive and government at various levels in the country must do more to encourage social entrepreneurs, if the goal of holistic development of the country is to be achieved”, Mrs. Nwani counseled.

Continuing, she said: “Take the Education Sector for example. In order to achieve the goal of raising the standard and quality of education, there is need for creative and innovative support to public educational institutions especially in the areas of teaching staff skills enhancement, advisory on standard operating procedures and curriculum development as well as leadership training for pupils, among others. Massive investment is required to achieve world class standards in the areas highlighted above and government alone cannot undertake the job successfully”.

“At interest rates of between 20% and 26% charged by commercial banks in the country today, it will always be a problem to get social entrepreneurs who are firmly committed to partnering government in the task of social infrastructure re-engineering because it is suicidal for social entrepreneurs to approach Banks for loans”.

Mrs. Nwani described the survival and evolution of MeadowHall as a story of resilience, passion and patriotism. She noted that though MeadowHall started out in 2002 as an infant/junior School in Lekki area of Lagos, the brand has today grown into a multi-competency business comprising five subsidiaries namely MeadowHall Education, SpringMeadow Edutainment, MeadowHall Consult, MeadowHall Foundation and MeadowHall Branchise.

She said the MeadowHall Education manages the Group’s investments in its core schools, comprising its Junior Schools in Lekki and Ikoyi and the College in Lekki plus other expansions envisaged in the future while the MeadowHall Consult which is the educational consulting arm of the Group offers consultancy services designed to enhance teachers’ skills levels and promote classroom productivity through its various continuous development courses. To date, the MeadowHall Consult has trained nearly 4,000 teachers drawn mostly from public schools on the platforms of partnership ventures such as Eko Project, EduCamp, InnerCity Mission School and SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria.

SpringMeadow Edutainment Company (SME), she explained, was set up to inspire and nurture creativity in children through specially designed programmes that provide opportunities for fun, entertainment and learning. Its core offerings include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Centre, SEN (Special Education Needs) Centre, Music Academy, Language School, Book Café, Art Centre and Fitness Centre, among others.

On its own, the MeadowHall Foundation, as the non-profit arm of the Group, is established to support communities, public schools and the less privileged through various charitable interventions and programmes such as adoption, donations, mentoring and scholarships, among others.

Mrs. Nwani further revealed that the MeadowHall Group is open to partnering with other well meaning social investors and NGOs with passion for children development to replicate the SpringMeadow Edutainment Company template across the country. She said her organisation passionately believes that all Nigerian children should have access to world class opportunities for all-round development. This belief, according to her, motivated the establishment of the MeadowHall Branchise as a platform to partner with other entrepreneurs with a passion for children to leverage the MeadowHall experience and cutting edge resources to create opportunities for holistic development of Nigerian children across socio-economic divides.

“MeadowHall is an idea that is solely about holistic development of the Nigerian child as a member of a dynamic global family. This idea is being managed in a way that will ensure it remains relevant to generations of Nigerian kids, even those yet to be born. The more we are able to replicate the idea across the country and even outside the country on a long term basis, the more satisfying it is for us as the promoter and initiator of the idea”, she revealed.