UK start-up Roadmap MBA has partnered with education charity COCO to support communities in East Africa, providing free access to CPD certified business education and training.

COCO believes that all children regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic circumstances should have the opportunity to receive an education. Roadmap MBA has the mission to make business education and training accessible to five billion people worldwide. Both organisations are headquartered in Gateshead, UK.

The partnership will provide the communities COCO support with free access to business education and training which is often inaccessible for many of the poorest people in the world. COCO’s mission is to provide quality education for hard-to-reach communities, and Roadmap MBA takes this mission to a higher level to build brighter, stronger communities.

Lucy Philipson, CEO at COCO, said: “It’s a pleasure to partner with Roadmap MBA. We work with passionate entrepreneurs across East Africa, many of whom are self-taught (in business), but these businesses can support whole communities.

“Through helping to educate communities on aspects such as business strategy we hope to empower individuals to sustain poverty alleviation and especially increase the life prospects for women and girls.”

Lucy continued: “In the communities where we work, it is common that women are expected to stay in the home to look after children and complete daily household chores such as collecting water and firewood. For some girls, their education is cut short as they enter marriages at a young age and have their own children.

“Accessible business education would give these women and girls the opportunity to reclaim their education, helping them to establish businesses which bring in additional income and transform how they are viewed in society. We have previously achieved this with small business loans, but the support from Roadmap MBA will provide the education and training required to enhance success.”

Roadmap MBA founder Steve Pugh launched the business during the pandemic, and it now has users in 56 countries.

Speaking on the partnership, Pugh said: “It shouldn’t matter where you grow up or what your financial background is to access information to help you build a better life for yourself. A good education can help almost everyone.”

He added: “We’re building something which gives the complete roadmap to grow your business or career designed for people with passion, not privilege. The partnership with COCO helps us build towards our mission and it’s a pleasure to support in whatever way we can.”

As part of the support, Roadmap MBA will be granting all of COCO’s global partners with completely free access to all its materials, including digital resources, physical textbooks and live classroom sessions. The aim of the partnership is to help upskill COCO partners to build a better life for themselves and use this knowledge to support future generations, building brighter futures across the globe.