the teach tour uncovering how & why we've failed to educate children worldwide@theteachtour


Shabnam Aggarwal is living in Boulder, Colorado, US as the founder of The Teach Tour. The Teach Tour is a market research organization with a mission to shift the paradigm of education for the base of the pyramid’s 72 million children without access. It is a tour lasting 10 months and spanning 4 countries in South Asia, 15 countries in Africa, and 1 country in North America. The purpose of the tour is to both explore education at the root through teachers and to interview grassroots innovators creating products and services targeted at base of the pyramid market. The end goal is to create a trend analysis on the failures and successes that have occurred and to use these trends to create opportunities and best practices for potential new entrepreneurs in both education and the development sector as a whole.

As the prior co-founder of MILLEE based full-time in India, Shabnam represented MILLEE in the Unreasonable Institutes fellowship program, which mentors social entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business plans and marketing strategies for their social enterprises. Shabnam’s endeavor with MILLEE was to create a for-profit enterprise that develops educational games on mobile phones to teach English literacy to children in rural India. Recently, Shabnam has embarked upon a mission to uncover how and why we’ve failed to educate children worldwide through a research project called The Teach Tour in collaboration with Gray Matters Capital. She plans to take her market research to a commercialized design consultancy service by creating an IDEO for education at the base of the pyramid. Previously, Shabnam designed and implemented a mobile phone solution for the Ujjivan Microfinance Institution when she worked with Microsoft Research India’s Technology for Emerging Markets group. Shabnam is also a Starting Bloc and Dangerously Ambitious Sparkseed alum.

Going further back in time, after completing her undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Shabnam joined Wall Street’s Merrill Lynch to build her corporate skills. During this time, she volunteered with Womens World Banking and discovered her passion for educating underprivileged but highly deserving women. That led her to quit her job and move to Cambodia to work with a non-government organization called Digital Divide Data. During her tenure with DDD, she developed a program called infinit-E with Transitions Global, a shelter for young women who have been rescued from brothels in South East Asia, to promote employability through English and Computer literacy skills . This led to her eventual obsession and passion for childhood education combined with the beauty of sustainable for-impact enterprises.

Shabnam holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and was recently in Pune, Maharashtra becoming a certified preschool educator with the Madhavi Kapur Foundation. She plans to spend 2011 in Boulder, Colorado, United States and Africa researching methods of bringing Early Childhood Education to low-income students in further depth.