The learning center in Chansom Senmongkul was set-up with the help of different people and organizations investing money in the center. Greg Kyle-Langley is banker in London and impact investor at One Young World. Together with Louise Jack he invested 20,000 Euro. In this interview we talked to Greg about what he´s thinking about the progress the learning center has made since its opening last November.
Greg, you have been receiving monthly impact reports from Kadet and her learning center. Are you satisfied with the developments?
I’ve been incredibly impressed by the speed with which the team has taken the BOOKBRIDGE model in Chansom Senmongkul to sustainability. To get to a position where within 9 months self-generated income is covering all the costs of the learning center in providing free courses & facilities to the community is simply incredible.
There are thousands of Silicon Valley start-ups with huge funding behind them that can’t achieve that kind of success. It strongly shows that business techniques can be so effective in helping the local community to solve problems & provide their own services, for the benefit of all, without waiting for a Western charity to come & choose which of them it’s going to support.
When you think back to the investor pitch for our learning center in July 2013, what was the biggest difference between what you thought would happen and what happened in reality?
I could never have imagined the speed with which the team would be able to do what they have.
Would you recommend to others to invest in a learning center as well?
Entirely. The model BOOKBRIDGE has can help communities revolutionise -themselves-. Business can be a hugely efficient force for good, and we should help people use its techniques to improve their lives wherever we can.
The next stage for BOOKBRIDGE is to develop ways to assess the social impact their centres are having. This is a notoriously complicated area and, as well as bringing the financial capital to open more, I’d ask companies with expertise in this field to help BOOKBRIDGE with intellectual capital.