Empowering African EdTech: Participant Insights from the EdTech Evidence for Entrepreneurs Course

Written by:
EdTech Hub & Injini
Published on:
June 7, 2024

BY: Nobuhle Mhlongo, Injini. Paul Mucyo, Bryony Nicholson and Jillian Makungu, EdTech Hub.

This blog highlights the lessons learned and the impact of the EdTech Hub Entrepreneur Course. It has been written in partnership with Injini, who has been instrumental in providing coaching and support for entrepreneurs from Cohorts 3 and 4. 

“A standout aspect for me was learning about evidence-based product design. We've integrated lean impact principles into our product development process, allowing us to swiftly test our hypotheses and ideas using the simplest methods available. As a result, we've made informed decisions regarding our EdTech product, continually refining and implementing changes based on tangible evidence.” 

— Malombe Victor, Founder of AHA Kits

Malombe, the founder of AHA Kits — waterproof, solar-powered, server-in-a-box solutions that operate offline and provide access to high-quality digital learning content to learners in low connectivity environments, free of charge — describes his experience of the EdTech Evidence for Entrepreneurs Course as a wake-up call. Emphasising the importance of embracing the process and utilising evidence to mitigate failure, Malombe’s reflections showcase how the course has supported him and his team in incorporating evidence into their product design process. After the course, Malombe now prioritises tasks confidently, knowing that utilising methods he has learnt through the course allows an iterative approach, building on previous learnings. 

Over the last three years, the course has brought entrepreneurs together from across Africa, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage with various topics; from the science of teaching and learning to theory of change, product design, systems thinking, and sustainability.

Infographic of course data so far: Source: EdTech Hub
"After conducting user experiments and getting important feedback…we have implemented a human-centred design which speaks to the needs of our target users, integrated an embedded competency attainment process that ensures learning is happening, and made sure that product remains adaptable. The system is built to ensure validation of the principles and continuous data collection to build new ones. The lessons from the Tulna Index and the EdTech Hub Library remain central to our way of doing things in product development." 

—Julius Irungu, Founder of Esoma Solutions

In 2023, EdTech Hub partnered with Injini - Africa's EdTech Accelerator and Think Tank to provide follow-on support for several entrepreneurs. Injini worked with the course over two cohorts to offer peer mentorship and group workshops on user experiment design, product road mapping, monitoring, evaluation and learning, fundraising, and investment readiness to 44 entrepreneurs. This support culminated in one founder per cohort securing a micro-grant of £10,000.

Esoma Solutions, founded by Julius Irungu, emerged as the winner of Cohort 3, securing the £10,000 micro-grant from EdTech Hub to support their product development endeavours. Esoma Solutions aims to bridge educational gaps by offering an online platform featuring engaging quizzes, topical questions, and summary notes across various subject areas, fostering improved reading and writing.

After completing their post-course support facilitated by Injini, Esoma Solutions noted an improvement in their user engagement metrics, now up to 76.4% within the learning areas, a core learning outcome from their interactions with peer mentors and coaches during the programme. As part of Injini's alumni network, Esoma Solutions has received collaboration opportunities from the EdTech ecosystem such as the Learning Tools Competition and endorsement for the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship in Kenya, run by CcHub.

The collaborative efforts between EdTech Hub and Injini underscore the necessity for partnerships in African EdTech, particularly among tech hubs. These partnerships create continuous learning opportunities to effectively support African EdTech companies as they continuously strive to enhance their product offerings to improve educational outcomes on the continent. Reflecting on this collaboration, we encourage EdTech companies to actively seek opportunities like the EdTech Evidence for Entrepreneurs Course to learn, collaborate, and elevate their product offerings onto the global stage.

To hear more about the EdTech course and when future learning journeys will launch, sign up for EdTech Hub’s mailing list.