Getting To Know Stacey Brewer – Founder of SPARK Schools

Stacey Brewer

Stacey Brewer, SPARK Schools’ Co-Founder and CEO, is a true innovator who has actively disrupted the norm.

Dedicated to making a difference and solving South Africa’s education challenges, Stacey launched the SPARK Schools network in 2012, and has been intricately involved in its evolution and growth ever since.

We had a chat with Stacey about being in the education industry, what sets their schooling model apart, and what her advice is for aspiring entrepreneurs. Take a look ↯

Can you tell us more about what SPARK Schools is and how you got started in the industry?

SPARK Schools was an idea that emerged when I was studying my MBA at GIBS. It was highlighted by one of our professors that South Africa currently spends the greatest proportion of its budget and GDP on education and yet South Africa is ranked as one of the worst-performing nations when it comes to the quality of education.

As a result, SPARK was started to address the dire state of education in South Africa but it had to be accessible and the quality of education had to be comparable to the rest of the world. SPARK benchmarks their total cost to educate on the government’s total cost to educate in order to provide a model that is affordable to the country.

SPARK is able to achieve this through the education model, where a blended learning model has been implemented to drive cost efficiencies for SPARK to operate at its price point but also creates a very data-rich environment in order to differentiate instruction. SPARK does not screen any of its children as we aim to prove that any child from any community can achieve.

What is a day like in the life of a CEO?

Life before COVID and during COVID has been very different. Overall though, I spend most of my days in meetings either connecting with my team as a group, having one on ones or meetings focused on strategic projects.

I spend a lot of time also engaging with external stakeholders in either driving new opportunities for SPARK or ensuring we have strong strategic partners to support the growth and success of the organisation.

What sets SPARK Schools apart from other educational models?

SPARK Schools education model follows a blended learning approach which is the use of technology that has been integrated into the learning process. Blended Learning drives cost efficiencies for us to operate at our price point but also allows for a data-rich environment to differentiate instruction depending on each child’s needs. 

What makes the educational industry one that you enjoy?

I enjoy doing work that is challenging but also creates impact and potentially systemic change. We have a great opportunity to achieve this at SPARK. 

Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

I would encourage female entrepreneurs to ensure that you have a strong support network as the life of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster ride. By having someone there to bring you up when you feel down and balance you when things are doing well, really enables the journey to be completely worth it.

Thank you Stacey! Follow SPARK Schools below ❤︎

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