Pearson Affordable Learning Fund

Overview: The 13 Participants of Pearson’s African Edupreneurs Program

Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and Village Capital announced the thirteen participants of its edupreneurs program in Africa. Six of the participants come from South Africa, two from Tanzania, two from Nigeria, and one from Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia respectively. The thirteen participants were selected out of 120 applicants from across the continent.

The startups will now participate in a mentorship program starting on October 16th. Two winners will be selected through peer review of the participants and will receive up to $75k in seed funding in January 2015.


Bambisa (South Africa)

Bambisa is a multi-platform mobile application for teachers and parents across all education sectors. It combines WhatsApp, Google Calendar, Kalahari and PayPal in one app for parents. Bambisa offers a free broadcast and two way communication and payment platform tailored for the teacher-parent conversation, real time calendaring so that teachers can add events, parents can view an agenda and get reminders, as well as content delivery providing high school content in a ‘chat’ style through the app. (South Africa) provides adaptive learning software that delivers digital learning content and assessments that adapt to a student’s strengths and weaknesses. By leveraging big data and rating algorithms, provides feedback on each student and on the course.

Funda Online

Funda Online (South Africa)

Funda Online’s cloud-based software-as-a-service platform allows its partners to educate and engage students globally. Its courses are targeted at equipping youth who are neither in employment nor education with new skills to either find employment or develop their entrepreneurship skills.


FunDza Literacy Trust (South Africa)

FunDza is an organisation dedicated to improving the literacy levels of South African youth by growing a culture of reading and writing. They use technological solutions to scale their impact.


HapaWeb (Ghana)

HapaWeb is an IT company offering web and mobile applications such as bulk SMS, website design, school management system, and Google Apps for business. HapaSIS is a web-based school management software enabling over 15,000 parents to access student reports online and via SMS through an open-source freemium model specifically for African Senior High Schools and free to download.


Kidogo (Kenya)

Mothers living in urban slums do not have access to safe, age-appropriate and trained early childhood education centers. Kidogo plans to fill this gap with an innovative hub & spoke model to deliver high quality ECD programs with trained caregivers and locally relevant education. Following a micro-franchise model, Kidogo also empowers local women to become entrepreneurs.

Leap Academy

Leap Academy (Ethiopia)

Leap Academy provides affordable, high quality basic education for children and adults in per-urban Ethiopia through owning schools and building partnerships with other private and public schools to leverage existing infrastructure.

Lekki Peninsula Affordable Schools (Nigeria)

Lekki Peninsula Schools is a low-cost private school chain in Nigeria with an all-inclusive fee structure and flexible payment system designed for low-income families.

Open Futures Foundation

Open Futures Foundation (South Africa)

Open Futures provides skills, education and training to high school learners and out-of-school-youth, in efforts to empower and enable them to start their own business, qualify & register for tertiary education or find secure employment.

Shule Direct

Shule Direct (Tanzania)

Shule Direct creates local digital educational content. They are building an anytime, anywhere learning platform to enable access to localized content from available devices. Content from the best local teachers and open resources are organized according to the local curriculum in a cloud-based educational content repository.


Syafunda (South Africa)

Syafunda is an organization with a network of over 900 schools across South Africa that provides innovative learning solutions through mobile technology. They develop products to simplify the learning process and sharing of information in a fun, simple and interactive way. (Nigeria) is an online learning platform designed to make education accessible by engaging Africans with online courses, meetups, tutorials and virtual live classes.


Ubongo (Tanzania)

Ubongo is a Tanzanian social enterprise that creates interactive edutainment for learners in Africa, delivered to them via the technologies they already have. They’re bringing African families a transformational, fun new way to learn through educational media accessible through basic mobile phones and mobile web.

Further Reading

Pearson backs 13 start-ups in Africa as they demonstrate they can impact educational outcomes for low-income learners | Press Release

Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+