Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
The Road to Palm Springs
While most lenders view charter schools as poor investments, unlikely to produce a payoff, Stuart Ellis, CEO of Charter School Capital (CSC), saw charter schools as an investment opportunity well worth the risk, not only in terms of financial payoff but also in providing alternative education to children living in distressed school districts.
By creating a receivables purchase model that provides investors with a healthy rate of return, Ellis is able to offer reliable capital at significantly lower costs than traditional lenders. In turn, his ability to attract investors has enabled him to secure sufficient capital to serve more than 80,000 students in approximately 150 schools in California, Minnesota and Arizona. For many of these schools, the funding CSC provides is the difference between remaining open or closing their doors.
Building an organization equipped to provide flexible, affordable and efficient funding options to families and schools also requires a strong organization. Ellis achieved this by building a close-knit management team that shares his commitment to safeguarding the company’s ethics, integrity and values.
Ellis’s commitment to the community includes involvement with various charities, such as the American Red Cross and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Caitlin Gable School.