Meet the ESTEEM startup: DAWERE

Author: Olivia Poole

Carlos BanegasCarlos Banegas

ESTEEM graduate student Carlos Banegas is the chief expansion officer of DAWERE, an EdTech premium online education company that adapts to Hispanics’ pockets and lifestyle. Dawere is a quality, accredited and affordable online school currently focused on secondary education. 

In perspective to U.S. education, DAWERE is the online G.E.D version for Latin American countries that can’t or don’t want to go to a traditional face-to-face school to obtain a high school diploma. DAWERE has a presence in Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

The great thing about DAWERE is the accessibility it gives students. Students are able to access its user-friendly software at any time and allows them to study at their own pace according to their own needs. 

DAWERE hopes to become a pioneer in virtual high school education in Latin America. 

Now, Spanish-speaking students have the possibility to finish their high school education. 

Each year, 2.5 million people do not finish high school in Honduras and 8.4 million drop out of school in Latin America. This leads such dropouts to low-paying jobs. It’s DAWERE’s goal to provide education to these individuals for a better, future lifestyle.

According to Banegas, 93 percent of DAWERE students say its education quality is equal to or better than their previous face-to-face traditional school.

Banegas is building partnerships and seeking new regions in Latin America to implement DAWERE. The company has generated $500,000 in recurring revenue and is expanding to other Latin American countries.  

DAWERE is also raising a seed round of $3 million to position itself as the leading online school in Latin America. The use of funds will go towards educational content, technology and marketing pilot programs with the government. 

Banegas is a social entrepreneur with 11 years of designing and executing educational and social projects for youth-at-risk and families in need in his home country of Honduras. He is inspired to create change for those who didn’t receive the same chances that he has. 

I feel grateful for the opportunities, but they are worth nothing if I do not strive for others to have the same or better opportunities I experienced.” said Banegas

Since the development of DAWERE there are now more than 500 students who have graduated from the company. An additional 80,000 are registered for free online content and over 3,500 are enrolled in DAWERE’s tuition paid online school. 

Banegas graduated from the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in Honduras with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Currently, he is pursuing a master of science degree from the ESTEEM graduate program at the University of Notre Dame. ESTEEM is Notre Dame’s only entrepreneurship, technology and innovation graduate program. It is also an acronym, standing for the “Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master's” program. Banegas will graduate this spring.