Third Prize in the 'Social Entrepreneurship' track of the Oikos Case Writing Competition. Organized by the oikos International, Switzerland

Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies
Case Code: LDEN124
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 2015-2017
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Bridge International Academy
Industry: Primary Education
Countries: United States, Kenya, Liberia, Uganda
Themes: Social Entrepreneur
Bridge International Academies
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Bridge International Academy (Bridge), the world's largest and fastest growing private school chain, is known for its radically innovative "Academy-in-a-Box" model, which is a scalable and easily replicable model that offers low cost unique solutions to the problem of quality education to children at the bottom of the pyramid. With the mission of providing 'Knowledge for All' Bridge has enrolled more than one hundred thousand students in Kenya and other developing countries. The unique model revolves around the developing of rigorous course content by expert teachers from around the world and the "Scripted Instruction Methodology" to ensure standardization of delivery in the classrooms. The model that delivers affordable education at about $6 a month needs to scale up and enroll half a million students to break even.

While May and Jay, the founders of Bridge, were well on course to achieve their goal of enrolling 10 million poor students by 2025, they faced resistance from teachers' associations which felt that encouraging Bridge would lead to privatization and commercialization of education. The governments also brought in new legislations that seriously hampered its business model by increasing costs and stalling its scalability. May and Jay now have to take a decision on how to rework the existing model to overcome regulatory hurdles and opposition from educators in order to achieve their goal. The case has important decision points and ramifications for all social entrepreneurs who have built or are building a sustainable business model to offer quality primary education to the poorest of the poor.


This case is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand how to build a radically innovative and sustainable business model to deliver quality education to the poorest of the poor in the developing countries
  • Analyze the "Academy-in-the-box" model, which allows scalability and is replicable
  • Forecast all the possible risks the Bridge business model faces in changing conditions
  • Stress the importance of social entrepreneurs factoring in regulatory risks while building a model around providing primary education for poor children



Social Entrepreneur, Academy-in-a-Box, Scripted Instruction Methodology, Tablet-based Teaching, Academy Management, Cashless Payment, McDonaldization of Education, Regulatory Environment, KCPE Results, Public Education System, Millennium Development Goals, Regulatory Challenges and Opposition

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