Diaspora

Chrissybil Boulin: the Haitian American who built a successful education business with $500 – Face2Face Africa

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Abu Mubarik
Full bio
January 03, 2022 at 12:00 pm | Success Story
Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.
Meet Chrissybil Boulin, the founder of an education business called Jump Start Tutoring. The Haitian American launched the business in 2018 as she knew the importance of a college education in improving the long-term economic prospects of low-income people and underserved communities, Bizjournal reported.
Before Jump Start Tutoring, she founded Merkabah International Foundation, which supports schools in Haiti. According to her, she chose to invest in schools in Haiti after having a fair idea of the country’s extreme hunger situation.
Boulin has a master’s in economics degree from the University of Cambridge. Spending the summer holidays in Haiti with her father inspired her to start Merkabah International Foundation. As she saw how the country struggled with development, she was committed to the country’s education sector.
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She was even offered a high-paying position at an intragovernmental economic organization but she turned it down.
“[The offer] was more money than I had ever made, but I turned it down because I felt I wasn’t going to be in a position to empower people in poverty,” Boulin told Bizjournal
As part of efforts to reduce poverty through education, she launched Jump Start Tutoring. Initially, the business was a one-woman tutoring operation designed to improve the academic performance and weaknesses of K-12 students. Boulin did not have a budget to advertise her business during its initial phase and so relied on good friends and well-wishers who helped grow her business by word-of-mouth.
“I started the business with $500 and maybe 66 followers on Instagram – no co-founder, no business experience, just a passion for teaching kids,” she said.
Three years down the line, Jump Start has trained over a thousand students in the South Florida area and entered partnerships with the Broward County Public Library and the Urban League of Broward County to provide free and discounted services to low-income youth, according to Bizjournal.
Bizjournal further reports that Jump Start is creating software products “designed to make test prep and academic tutoring more affordable and accessible.” Boulin’s company is currently raising a $1.3 million seed round to support that development. Meanwhile, Jump Start has already secured early-stage venture funding from investor Chisos Capital. The company has also launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder, with investments starting at $100.
Boulin is hoping her venture will motivate other Black investors to start their businesses despite all the risks associated with entrepreneurship.
“For anyone who’s afraid to leave that big job or thinks they’re too young to start, I want them to know it’s all possible,” she said. “If you have the passion and grit to solve a problem that needs solving, invest in yourself and take a chance.”
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