History

Bridge started with anthropology, a honeymoon and Malawi. Since our first academy opened in 2009, we’ve had a remarkable journey with the communities we serve. We are excited about the future and the difference we can make.

We believe that every child has the right to a high quality education and are committed to helping every child fulfil their potential. To learn more about our mission.

  • 2017

    Bridge International Academies continues to partner with governments, teachers, communities and parents. Significant growth is anticipated for the forthcoming year. This year, Bridge has continued to grow and opened 4 academies in India through a partnership with Andhra Pradesh. This brings the global number of Bridge academies to 520.

  • 2016

    Bridge International Academies was chosen as one of the first partners by the Liberia Ministry for Education’s Partnership school for Liberia (PSL) program, adding 25 academies to Bridge global count. The initiative is an innovative public / private partnership where education providers with proven track records in delivering high-quality education are united with public primary schools across Liberia. Bridge won the Global Shared Value award for an “outstanding record in reconceiving education for a new market” in Kenya over 2016. 

  • 2015

    Bridge continued growth in Kenya and expanded internationally! Seven Bridge schools opened in Uganda in February 2015 to mark the start of the Ugandan academic year. Two opened in Nigeria in September in line with the start of the Nigerian academic calendar, bringing the total number of Bridge academies to 414 across three countries. An Indian expansion team was founded, with new academies planned to open in 2016. Bridge opened a London office and was awarded one of six prestigious WISE Awards for innovation in education.

  • 2014

    One hundred forty-six new schools opened in Kenya, bringing the total number of schools to 359, which serve over 100,000 pupils! Class 7 was added. International exams administered by an independent agency found that Bridge pupils score 35 percent higher in core reading skills and 19 percent higher in math. Bridge founders Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May were named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014 at the World Economic Forum on Africa. Jay and Shannon were also named on CNBC’s “Next List” as innovators expected to change the face of business over the next 25 years. Expansion preparations began for Uganda and Nigeria.

  • 2013

    One hundred thirty new academies opened throughout the year, and Bridge expanded to 213 schools, serving 56,577 pupils. A new, dynamic tablet application was developed for teachers to use for planning lessons, administering assessments, tracking attendance, and more. Geometry boards, national exam prep and a wealth of other educational firsts also launched throughout all Bridge schools. Class 6 was added. Bridge became the largest network in Kenya, with more outlets than any other business in the country. A US office opened.

  • 2012

    Forty-seven new schools launched, making for a total of 83 schools and 25,472 pupils. The smartphone Academy Manager application was a success and was implemented across all schools. Baby Class and Class 5 were added, curriculum was upgraded and a new green academy structure rolled out. Pupils performed up to 205 percent higher than their peers in international exams. Bridge was declared the fastest growing social enterprise in Kenya, providing high-quality education for families and jobs for local residents.

  • 2011

    Twenty-eight new schools launched in 2011 with Bridge’s first substantial expansion outside of Nairobi. Nursery Class and Class 4 were added. Custom smartphone software was piloted as a way for Academy Managers to monitor pupil progress, as well as manage the operational budget for each school. Nearly 5,000 pupils were enrolled by the end of year across 37 schools, making Bridge the largest network of low cost schools in Africa.

  • 2010

    Bridge opened eight additional academies in Nairobi, Kenya. International testing results showed that Bridge pupils outperformed their peers at other neighborhood schools. More than 1,300 pupils were enrolled by the end of the year.

  • 2009

    The first Bridge school opened in January in the Mukuru community in Nairobi, offering Pre-Unit (Kindergarten), Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. A second academy opened in May. Nearly 300 pupils enrolled by the end of the year. Bridge also launched mobile payments to make fees easier for families to manage.

  • 2008

    Bridge established its first country headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and moved into our first official office space at Pewin House, near Wilson Airport. It began with the vision to create a high-quality, low cost education system with room to improve and expand. With this in mind, Bridge developed the first teacher guidelines – detailed lesson guidelines based on world-class pedagogy following the Kenyan national curriculum. Bridge quickly outgrew this space and moved into its second office at Clifton Park on Mombasa Road.

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