Mat Jacobson isn’t your typical businessman. He’s established three businesses in the tertiary education space, two property investment companies in Australia and the United States and a technology incubator in Melbourne. He’s worked as a lawyer in Australia, the US and the United Kingdom and he’s established a foundation to improve education in Africa.
Jacobson’s latest business venture, Dūcere, sees him combine his business and philanthropic skills, creating an online education provider which gives people practical business knowledge and a foundation, funded through the business’s profits, which helps develop the education systems in the third world and developing nations.
“It’s self-funding philanthropy. We have dozens of staff working across Africa, but it’s all funded through our own activities,” he says.
Prior to starting Dūcere, Jacobson sold his last business Origin Human Resources for $20 million. The company was the leading online provider of business and financial services training programs and boasted clients such as KPMG and most major government agencies.
Dūcere’s program is developed by a faculty of global leaders such as former prime minister John Howard, ex-Qantas chief executive Margaret Jackson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The students are given access to targeted interviews with each of the world leaders, focused specifically around their course topics. Seek founder Andrew Basset tells students about how to create a digital brand, while the interview with Lindsay Fox is about how to get the outcomes you want out of a negotiation.