Meet the Entrepreneurs
+254 73 374 4067
Eneza’s mission is to provide quality education to 50 million kids across rural Africa
Chris Asego, Co-Founder, Kenya
CHALLENGE In Kenya, more than 65% of students abandon school after failing their primary school exit exams. Both textbooks and Internet materials are either expensive or simply unavailable. Essentially, the problem is that students willing to study do not have access to the adequate resources to do so. With an average of 50 students per class in rural and slum schools, teachers are unable to deliver individualized follow-up or quality feedback to their students, and collecting meaningful data on students’ strengths and weaknesses is nearly impossible. Head teachers face numerous pressures to provide their students with greater opportunities and more guidance, but few teacher-centered, high-quality, and accessible tools exist that could support them in this task.
“WITH AN AVERAGE OF 50 STUDENTS PER CLASS IN RURAL AND SLUM SCHOOLS, TEACHERS ARE UNABLE TO DELIVER INDIVIDUALIZED QUALITY FEEDBACK TO THEIR STUDENTS.”
BUSINESS MODEL Eneza offers a platform that runs on mobile phones, both smartphones and basic phones. The initiative acts as a revision platform: students register with the Eneza mobile application, dial *851# on the local Safaricom line, and then choose from a series of documented Q&A tests that raise their education level. They also receive feedback regarding their performance and can send specific questions to teachers that will be answered within an hour. Eneza generates revenue in two ways: (1) through parents who pay for individual study sessions (quizzes and lessons), reports, and premium web content, and (2) through schools and other interested organizations that pay for data and content made available through the Internet or mobile web. Eneza currently has a partnership with the leading mobile network operator in Kenya, Safaricom, and is able to allow students to study at a subsidized rate. Parents only pay the equivalent of USD0.03 per quiz or lesson. Alternatively, parents can pay for an SMS report subscription at USD10 per month. Schools currently buy accounts to access data on individual students. Accounts cost USD10 per month.
IDEA The idea to create Eneza was born out of co-founders Toni Maraviglia’s, Chris Asego’s, and Kago Kagichiri’s desire to combat Kenya’s lack of a successful educational system. Toni Maraviglia learned firsthand about education in Kenya through volunteer work while promoting education for girls. Chris Asego, a native Kenyan, grew up in a slum and understands the struggle of children who yearn for an education. Eneza was originally launched in February 2012 under the name MPrep and has been generating revenue from the start. The word “eneza” in Kiswahili means “to reach” or “to spread.” Eneza’s name coincides with its goal to spread quality educational resources to the most remote schools through low-cost mobile technology.
“ENEZA IS SPREADING QUALITY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES TO THE MOST REMOTE SCHOOLS THROUGH LOW-COST MOBILE TECHNOLOGY.”
NEXT STEPS By the end of 2013, Eneza expects to have acquired 100,000 users (60% being active)
• FOCUS ON CONSOLIDATING A SPECIFIC MARKET FIRST: In the initial phase of a mobile education business, stay focused on achieving success with one application in a very targeted and specific market to have the schools’ buy-in and recognition. This allows you to eventually move beyond and access broader markets (i.e. rural and slum schools) and other education applications.
• ENEZA EMERGED FIRST in the mobile society category of the Pivot East Challenge 2012, organized by mLab East Africa. • THE mLab PROVIDED ENEZA WITH ONGOING SUPPORT as they gave them an office space, the necessary trainings as well as support for consolidating the business model.
• COMMUNICATION STRATEGY IS A MUST: You have to engage investors and donors. No matter how good the idea or app is, you should allocate adequate resources for your communication strategy.
KEY OUTCOMES VALUE FOR USERS Improved individual academic outcomes: Students using Eneza have increased their overall exam scores by 5%, compared to students not using Eneza. Improved academic outcomes for schools: The most active schools using Eneza increased their performance on national exams by over 15%. Increased study time: 67% of Eneza students study more than 4 hours/day after school; in contrast, only 55% of students, who are not on Eneza, study more than 4 hours/day after school. (Data according to a 2012 Impact Study Report by Eneza)
BUSINESS FACTS Over 33,000 students accessing the Eneza platform Used in over 700 schools across every region of Kenya, including refugee camps
WORKING WITH mLab EAST AFRICA
Eneza has 20 paying school subscribers Eneza recently sold a large customized platform to KEPSHA (the primary schools head association) for data collection at schools