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Babajide Esho: Entrepreneur plugging gaps in Nigeria’s educational system

Nigeria’s educational sector is confronted with a combination of issues ranging from inadequate funding to obsolete organisational structures. It is also hurt by lack of quality teachers, decreasing quality of teaching, increasing cost, and limited access to information.

To change this narrative in the country’s educational sector and ensure that parents can effectively manage school fees, access educational loans, monitor grades, and track their children’s educational activities, Babajide Esho is using technology to redefine the sector.

Babajide is the chief executive officer of Edustripe.com – an online platform that manages educational processes.

The actuarial scientist-turned-entrepreneur was inspired to establish Edustripe out of his desire and that of his co-founder to become change-makers.

“Our founding team aspires to change the world. We believe that it is possible to live in a world where all children can succeed through access to high-quality teachers,” he says.

Babajide says their initial start-up capital was $2,500 – an amount the co-founders saved while executing freelance contracts for clients.

Since starting in 2019, the business has grown steadily. Edustripe has worked with over 500 parents on a beta testing School Fees Cooperative Programme.

“We graduated our first cohorts of 50 Students on our TechTeens Summer Bootcamp where we introduced teens to various technology concepts,” he says.

“We have also worked with partners such as Co-Creation Hub, Imisi3D, Facebook Nigeria and Venture Garden Group,” he further says.

The business currently has 11 full-time employees that manage its marketing, software, operations, sales, and business development processes.

He says the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his business negatively as many of its planned activities for the yearhave been put on hold.

Also, he notes that the business lost a huge part of its revenue pipeline owing to the pandemic.

Speaking on how the business is re-strategising to survive the pandemic, the University of Lagos graduate says the business is focused on building products to reach parents directly without going through the schools.

“We have also carried out work on creating virtual content for students and parents through programs like V-Engage by Edustripe,” he says.

Despite issues associated with online learning in the country, his business has ensured it iqs building the right products for its clients.

To do this, he says Edustripe conducted various researches to understand their customers while designing features that are tailored to what their users need to achieve their educational goals.

Similarly, the business has developed virtual content that can help improve digital learning as well as educate parents and schools on ways to incorporate Edustripe tools and products.

Evaluating the country’s education industry, he says the industry is still in the nascent stage and that it is grossly limited by underfunding.

He advises the country to increase its funding for the sector post-COVID-19 while playing an active role in digitalising learning in the country.

He says the business plans to increase its educational content to appeal to a wide range of students. For its long-term plans, it hopes to spread its services to three other countries in Africa by 2023.

Speaking on the challenges confronting the business, he says data is a big challenge for the business, including the un-willingness of some schools to digitise learning and their processes.

He urges the government to be more radical with data collection in the industry, saying it is crucial for planning and resource distribution for the sector.

The business has been invited to the 2020 Founder Institute Class of Businesses. Also, Edustripe is a graduate of the 2019 Startup School program by Y Combinator where it got the AWS Funding of up to $3,000 and other key resources.

Edustripe has also completed workshops on Data Privacy Reviews facilitated by Global Partners Digital, Paradigm Initiative, and Co-Creation Hub.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, Babajide says, “Focus more on the execution of your idea instead of romanticising the said idea as there is no such thing as a great idea but executing them differently is what would determine the survival of this idea as a business.”

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