In 2016, the UN (United Nations) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, urged member countries to renew its resolve to invest more in empowering young people. Elearn.ng, a Nigerian edtech startup appears to have answered Mr. Moon’s call. Mr. Moon’s proclamation further acknowledged that more than 73 million youths were unemployed. This was on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day in 2016. One of the most important ways to empower youths is through skills development.
Elearn.ng provides access to vocational and technical skills training that empowers young people to be economically successful. Faith History spoke with Michael Onobote, Cofounder – Elearn.ng in this interview. Many young people would never get access to jobs without skills development. This makes the case for the startup’s value proposition.
Elearn.ng: “How I Got Into Education Technology” – Michael Onobote (Co-founder)
Michael Onobote didn’t get into the education sector from the start. It took a bit of inquiring and thinking before he found himself in the sector. Initially a techie, Michael got his first degree in Information & Communications Technology. After a few years, he realized he was always involved in projects that were related to education. His final year project as an undergraduate focused on streaming educational content over a wireless network. During his National Youth Service year he was in an education community development group.
It didn’t take long before Michael realized he was passionate about education. Since he had a technology background, he decided to research how he could marry both fields. He ended up finding the term “education technology” after an online search. Once he found this, he proceeded to research the best schools in the world to learn about the term. Michael eventually ended up in Oxford University on a scholarship. He also worked on his research project in Osun State on the Opon Imo project. Subsequently, he got an internship role in UNESCO.
Elearn.ng: “How We Got Here After A Rocky Start”
The startup started off as a classifieds website where people could list their businesses and get connected to prospective learners. The startup’s broad focus was to help individuals find skills that they could learn in order to startup their own businesses. The startup later discontinued the classifieds model as it was capital intensive and tedious. It involved going from one skills trainer to another to convince them to list on the platform after paying a token. The startup later pivoted to an online learning platform for skills acquisition.
At the time it pivoted, the market was not exactly ready for the service. The founders however launched the service with a long term view in mind. Several reports on the importance of vocational skills development further convinced them they were on the right track.
Elearn.ng: How To Access The Startup’s Service
Elearn.ng’s mission is to empower people with skills so they can have a better life. You can access the platform via your website and mobile phones. Users can access the platform via this link. Elearn.ng’s training courses are available via its website. It also facilitates classroom skills training for young people. Additionaly, the startup also provides home tutoring.
Users can take a course on the platform while trainers can sign-up to become instructors. Skills categories include Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle, Photography, Food & Confectionery etc. Some of the trainers on the platform include Gbenga Ayo-Dada of Artsmith Academy, Mrs. Ikeolu Biobaku of Mix n Bake among others.
Do not forget to listen to the full interview here. Tell you what you think about this startup in the comments.