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Atma Education

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Company: Atma Education, Mumbai, India
Company Description: Started in 2007 by Hayley Bolding & Adrienne Van Dok, Atma empowers grassroots educational initiatives to grow bigger, better and stronger in a lasting way, thus turning potential dropouts into graduates. Using a systematic management approach, it leads NGOs to scale-up, expand their reach and dramatically increase student learning outcomes. Atma currently has a 22-member team in Mumbai.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Organization of the Year – Government or Non-Profit– More Then 10 Employees

Nomination Title: Women for the Quality Education of All Children

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

NGOs and social enterprises play a critical role in the Indian Education system as a service provider and government partner. However, most often these entities are limited in reach and scale. Founded in 2007, Atma empowers grassroots educational initiatives to grow bigger, better and stronger in a lasting way thus turning potential dropouts into graduates.

With a vision of ‘Quality education for all children’, Atma achieves these results by adopting a systematic management approach that leads NGOs to scale-up, expand their reach and dramatically increase student-learning outcomes. Through its flagship ‘Accelerator Programme’ Atma supports education-focused organizations in the areas of school reform, coaching and remediation, life skills and special education to become more sustainable. With stronger leadership and better funding, they are able to improve and expand their programmes, ensuring that their students are able to achieve meaningful academic milestones. To date, Atma has worked with 50 partner organizations across Mumbai through the Accelerator Program.

Assessing the impact of the Accelerator Program is a 3-level approach. This is measured through education outcomes, the quality of the programmes and organizational sustainability & scalability. To allow for a more accurate assessment, in the past year Atma has expanded its repertoire of services to include Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E). Through M&E, Atma introduced new trackers to gauge portfolio organisation progress & service rating. The M&E team has also collected 80 impact stories across portfolio organisations to better understand their own impact on their beneficiaries as well as Atma’s impact on the organisation. A program health survey conducted across all portfolios in January 2015 discovered that the total number of partner centers increased by 48.14% from 27 in 2014 to 40 in 2015. The beneficiary reach of Atma partners have also increased by 18% from 5583 in 2014 to 6582 in 2015 that brings the total to around 60,000 beneficiaries reached through the Accelerator Programme.

Through its years of experience, Atma has developed a capacity building expertise with over 300+ organizations assessed for the Accelerator Programme, 200+ NGOs trained in capacity building areas and after having developed more than 90 capacity building blueprints, tools and examples. The material created through this experience and the knowledge that it would be beneficial to NGOs and social enterprises all over the world is what brought about the Atma Network. The Atma Network gives entrepreneurs and leaders “how-to guides” for developing their organisation. Templates for execution and examples of how other leading entrepreneurs have addressed their most pressing challenges will help organisations save time and resources, and build talent through exposure and networking. And the best of all, the content on the Atma Network is free. Currently, there are 55 organisations that are signed up and actively using the Atma Network.

By the year 2020, Atma aims to have 120 organisations enrolled in the Accelerator Programme and is looking to expand its operations in 4 major metros across India. Given all the accomplishments of 2015, including onboarding 20 new organisations into the Accelerator, Atma’s goals are well within reach. This brings Atma a few steps closer to their vision of ‘Quality Education for all Children’, one organization at a time.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):

Mary Ellen Matsui, a Canadian citizen, graduated from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. It was there that she became a member of a student organisation in 2007 that brought her to India and is what started her journey in working in the development space in Mumbai. As an intern she spent a year working with grassroots education NGO’s and studied the Indian education system and the challenges that low income students face. She then went on to volunteer for Atma and since 2011 has held the position of Executive Director. She has taken the organisation from where it partnered a mere 5 other NGOs to its present bag of 50+ NGOs with a reach of over 80,000 children in Mumbai.

Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.