The fast-growing educational technology start-up Resilia had successfully initiated its operations in Brazil. It trained full stack developers and connected them with entry-level jobs at unicorn start-up companies such as iFood, Stone, and Nubank, as well as traditional established companies going through a digital transformation process, such as Globo, one of Brazil’s largest media conglomerates. After two years of growth between 2019 and 2021, and with evidence for the potential of his start-up idea, the cofounder of Resilia, Bruno Cani, found himself in a challenging position after attracting the investment of XP Investimentos, one of Brazil’s largest financial technology firms. As of 2022, Resilia’s dilemma was to find a way to scale up the start-up without losing sight of its original purpose, but at the same time to show the potential value of monetizing this initiative in a near future, so that the business could operate without the need for investors’ money. Resilia had developed three key major capabilities: (1) acquiring customers (i.e., students) from among the low-income population and selecting the applicants with the most potential, (2) training them and funding their training through a system in which they would pay back the investment based on a percentage of their income once they had completed the program and found work, and (3) connecting with partnering companies to facilitate their employment and career advancement. This case is appropriate for use in an MBA, executive education, or undergraduate course on social entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing, or corporate social responsibility.
(1) To analyze a business model that conciliates social benefits and venture-funded decisions. (2) To understand how complex it is to decide on the growth of a start-up business in the education field. (3) To discuss the main elements of a business model in education, including how to prove its social impact, growth strategies for a start-up, and the potential merits of an innovation proposal that could be valuable and scalable. (4) To apply the concepts of social entrepreneurship to Resilia’s strategy.