Editor’s Note: This article was culled from www.techloy.com
Learning never ends.
That’s why African entrepreneurs are eagerly creating new and exciting ways for individuals to learn and interact online, and are equally getting huge support from the world’s leading learning institutions such as Pearson.
Together with its partner organisations, Village Capital and the Omidyar Network, Pearson has selected 13 of the most promising education start-ups in Africa to begin the next stage of its ‘Edupreneurs’ programme in South Africa.
The programme combines mentorship, in-person workshops and distance learning in order to address the specific challenges of successfully scaling a low-income education venture.
At the end of the course, two start-ups will be selected via peer review and would receive $75,000 USD in seed funding each to scale their businesses and make a positive impact on the future of learning for Africa’s low-income learners.
Here are the 13 start-ups selected from six sub-Saharan African countries:
1. Bambisa – Cape, Town, South Africa
Bambisa is a multi-platform mobile application for teachers and parents across all education sectors. It combines WhatsApp, Google Calendar, Kalahari and PayPal in one app for parents. Bambisa offers a free broadcast and two way communication and payment platform tailored for the teacher-parent conversation, real time calendaring so that teachers can add events, parents can view an agenda and get reminders, as well as content delivery providing high school content in a ‘chat’ style through the app.
2. Dapt.io – Cape Town, South Africa
Dapt.io provides adaptive learning software that delivers digital learning content and assessments that adapt to a student’s strengths and weaknesses. By leveraging big data and rating algorithms, Dapt.io provides feedback on each student and on the course.
3. Funda Online – Cape Town, South Africa
Funda Online’s cloud-based software-as-a-service platform allows its partners to educate and engage students globally. Its courses are targeted at equipping youth who are neither in employment nor education with new skills to either find employment or develop their entrepreneurship skills.
4. FunDza Literacy Trust – Cape Town, South Africa
FunDza is an organisation dedicated to improving the literacy levels of South African youth by growing a culture of reading and writing. They use technological solutions to scale their impact.
5. HapaWeb (HapaSIS) – Kumasi, Ghana
HapaWeb is an IT company offering web and mobile applications such as bulk SMS, website design, school management system, and Google Apps for business. HapaSIS is a web-based school management software enabling over 15,000 parents to access student reports online and via SMS through an open-source freemium model specifically for African Senior High Schools and free to download.
6. Kidogo – Nairobi, Kenya
Mothers living in urban slums do not have access to safe, age-appropriate and trained early childhood education centers. Kidogo plans to fill this gap with an innovative hub & spoke model to deliver high quality ECD programs with trained caregivers and locally relevant education. Following a micro-franchise model, Kidogo also empowers local women to become entrepreneurs.
7. Leap Academy – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Leap Academy provides affordable, high quality basic education for children and adults in per-urban Ethiopia through owning schools and building partnerships with other private and public schools to leverage existing infrastructure.
8. Lekki Peninsula Affordable Schools – Lagos, Nigeria
Lekki Peninsula Schools is a low-cost private school chain in Nigeria with an all-inclusive fee structure and flexible payment system designed for low-income families.
9. Open Futures Foundation – Newcastle, South Africa
Open Futures provides skills, education and training to high school learners and out-of-school-youth, in efforts to empower and enable them to start their own business, qualify & register for tertiary education or find secure employment.
10. Shule Direct – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Shule Direct creates local digital educational content. They are building an anytime, anywhere learning platform to enable access to localized content from available devices. Content from the best local teachers and open resources are organized according to the local curriculum in a cloud-based educational content repository.
11. Syafunda – Johannesburg, South Africa
Syafunda is an organization with a network of over 900 schools across South Africa that provides innovative learning solutions through mobile technology. They develop products to simplify the learning process and sharing of information in a fun, simple and interactive way.
12. Tutor.ng – Lagos, Nigeria
Tutor.ng is an online learning platform designed to make education accessible by engaging Africans with online courses, meetups, tutorials and virtual live classes. Read Techloy‘s review of the platform here.
13. Ubongo – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Ubongo is a Tanzanian social enterprise that creates interactive edutainment for learners in Africa, delivered to them via the technologies they already have. They’re bringing African families a transformational, fun new way to learn through educational media accessible through basic mobile phones and mobile web.
According to Pearson in a statement, the start-ups were selected through a rigorous review process, with submissions from 120 applicants spanning a wide variety of education models across Africa.
The programme kicked off on 16 October, 2014 in Cape Town and would run until January 2015.
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