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Making A Difference

Putting Faith in a Good Education

Chris Crane (MBA 1976)

“The lack of access to good education in developing countries is one of the greatest problems in the world today,” says Chris Crane (MBA 1976), who founded and leads Edify, a nonprofit that furnishes micro-enterprise loans and business training to Christian schools in Africa and Latin America, to help them expand or make critical improvements.

Launched in 2009, Edify has assisted 1,100 private schools by loaning each a minimum $5,000. The schools, which are run largely by locals who grew up in these disadvantaged communities, are able to pay the loan back by charging working poor families a modest tuition.

“I used to have thrills when doing multimillion-dollar business deals,” says Crane. “Now, when I make a $10,000 loan, it’s a jewel.”

The former president and CEO of the electronic database publisher COMPS InfoSystems, Crane served as president of Opportunity International, Inc., the world’s largest faith-based micro-finance organization, before starting Edify. To date, Edify has served 3,000 children in countries such as Rwanda, Peru, Ghana, Liberia, and the Dominican Republic.

“I see mothers labor in the hundred-degree heat and high humidity to save so their daughters become an aruaba, ‘a woman who goes to work in a business suit’ in the West African language Twi,” says Crane. “I’m honored to serve parents like that.”

(Published February 2016)

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