After a six month search to identify the best education startups in Africa, Pearson, the global publishing and education company, has together with Village Capital, Omidyar Network and the Centre for Education Innovations, picked ‘edupreneurs’ – Ubongo – which delivers ‘edutainment’ to Tanzanian families through existing media and broadcast channels, and Lekki Peninsula Affordable Schools, a low-cost private school chain in Nigeria to walk with the ultimate prize.
The two where chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the continent including South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria.
Each of the startups according to a statement released by Pearson, had to fulfil the goal of overcoming some of the continent’s biggest education challenges including:
“To increase access to primary education, to provide quality early childhood care, to reduce the dropout rates for higher education, to develop skills of unemployed youth, or to establish ‘edutainment’ as a legitimate pedagogy to engage young, curious minds… to name a few”.
“But alongside this diversity of background and business objective, there was a profound mutual passion and determination to improve education outcomes across Africa”, the statement adds.
The Edupreneurs model, designed by Village Capital, according to the statement, takes the startups “from exciting young enterprises to attractive investment prospects”.
The two winners will share $150k – almost R2 million – seed investment, to help begin their journey to scale.