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Francisco Cordero

Entrepreneur

Francisco Cordero has always dreamed of owning his own company. His business background includes extensive experience at Kraft Foods and Cemex. After earning his MBA from Stanford University, Cardero found himself at a crossroads – take a lucrative position at Bain Capital or start his own business geared toward helping under-served populations in his native Mexico. “I wanted to do something that was entrepreneurial and that also created impact,” Francisco reflects.

Problem

A Mexican University

Higher education in Mexico has it’s positives and negatives. Public universities are free in Mexico – if you make the grade. Students looking to attend college go through a strenuous testing process during secondary school that determines who gets a free education and who doesn’t. Those who don’t attain certain test scores are still given the option to attend university, but it comes at a price. Public universities have limited space, and private universities are financially out of reach for many in Mexico. To further compound these issues, there are scarce options for students to obtain education loans. As a result, a large portion of the Mexican population does not have access to colleges and universities. At the cross section of these complex issues emerged Francisco’s Mexico City-based company, Laudex.

A potential customer learns more about Laudex

Business Model

“I not only wanted to extend loans that would allow more youths in Mexico to attend university,” Francisco explains, “I also wanted to start a company that would give families flexibility when receiving those student loans. For instance, I wanted them to be able to receive or not receive funds whenever they need them. They wouldn’t have to pull out a lump sum at the start of a semester.” Francisco states that incomes fluctuate quite a bit in Mexico, so loan flexibility would be a key virtue to embrace.

Impact

Laudex Staff

Laudex has extended over 800 loans at an average amount of $10,000 to students and families in Mexico since its inception in 2009, numbers that are on the rise. “About 33% of our loans are extended to the middle-low class, another 33% to the low-income brackets, and the other 33% to the rural poor,” Francisco reports. “We are promoting education in Mexico and giving people more access to professional opportunities.” Francisco states that movement within social classes in Mexico is tough, if not impossible. “It’s not easy for someone in the middle class to achieve high-income or even medium-high income status,” Francisco explains. “I would like for our company to allow for more movement within the social classes in Mexico by providing people greater access to education.” Laudex’s primary areas of impact are the following:

  • Providing greater access to higher education for those who would not typically be able to afford it
  • Providing flexible loan terms and amounts to account for regular income fluctuations

The Future

“Right now we’re focusing on Mexico and Central America,” Francisco states about his operations. “There is so much need throughout the region when it comes to education. We want to be a part of helping people gain access.”