18 May Bringing the Classroom to You With Adesua Online
Ebenezer Addo Tenkorang, a 2020 fellow of the AVI, is an alumnus of Ashesi University and the cofounder of Adesua Online, an e-learning platform that provides an affordable, convenient and remote world class education to intellectually passionate high school students in Ghana.
The fellow confesses that he has “been an entrepreneur all” his “life”:
“My entrepreneurship journey began in kindergarten where I was selling coloured chalk to my classmates. Since then it has either been supplying Junior Graphic newspapers and exercise books in my junior high school or supplying sachet water to my housemates in senior high.
My main motivation for choosing this path is the opportunity entrepreneurship, specifically social entrepreneurship gives me to solve problems and impact people. Another motivating factor is the freedom of exploring new ideas. I am naturally curious and love to explore so this is a suitable fit for me. I believe my perseverance and love for challenges will help me succeed as an entrepreneur, not forgetting my strong research, administrative and digital marketing skills.”
With this Asedua Online portal, high schoolers gain access to courses from skilled teachers and can enrol in digital skill courses like programming and graphic design. They can learn anytime, anywhere and at their own pace. Be it on their smartphone or laptop, and with or without internet access.
As a way of supporting senior high school students affected during the COVID-19 induced temporary closure of schools, Adesua Online made provision for 100,000 high school and West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) remedial students to study for free on their e-learning platform.
Though a for profit enterprise, Adesua Online’s aim of ensuring that price is not a barrier to education for students from deprived backgrounds has led them to offer competitive prices and adopt a freemium pricing method. Scholarships have also been put in place for needy students.
On his thoughts on what key problem his business is solving, he expresses the following:
“I believe the future of the country is dependent on education. The quality of our high school education is being threatened by the lack of infrastructure and an exponential increase in population. There is, therefore, the need for a cost-effective means for educating our students. I strongly believe Adesua online is that cost-effective means.
The nontraditional high-end courses such as digital marketing, photography, graphic designing, programming etc… offered by Adesua Online will at best ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in the high school students and at worst make them employable.”
Put up to mentor Ebenezer is Rudolph Ampofo, an EdTech entrepreneur with extensive experience in go-to-market strategies and business and the senior regional partnerships manager of the Wikimedia Foundation for Sub-Saharan Africa. Rudoph’s social enterprise (of which he is a co-founder) Craft Education is an education technology company working to improve the standard of care for individuals with autism and other related disorders using technology. They also focus on developing the teaching workforce to ensure lifelong learning for students in Ghana and are the implementing partner for Eneza Education, having supported in the impacting of the lives of over 30,000 learners in Ghana.
Having “similar networks”, Ebenezer and Rudolph are both committed to creating innovative solutions to shortcomings in Ghana’s education system. Ebenezer has not only drawn from Rudolph’s work in digital information but also his experiences creating Craft Education. The fellow appreciates Rudolph’s input, specifying that his “mentor has played an instrumental role” in helping him focus on how to optimise his targeting of customers. Though Adesua Online focuses on both B2B and B2C, Rudolph recommended that the fellow focus on B2C first, moving over to B2B after the platform gains some traction.
One word he would use to describe his mentor is “resourceful”.
Rudolph has shared that his work with his “mentee is going well” and that “he is enthusiastic and open to learning and experimenting new things.”
“The idea of using my experiences to support young entrepreneurs is one thing that motivated me to sign up as a mentor. I also get to learn myself so that is a win-win.”