Eneza, a Kenyan-based startup, is set on bringing education to over 50 million children across rural Africa through the use of mobile technology. The startup believes that a teacher can only do so much and therefore, aims to make lives simpler both for educators and students by providing them with access to high-quality, highly-sought after content that improves our customers’ lives and knowledge.
Using mobile phone technology, the startup gives users educational lessons and assessments using SMS, web and Android platforms. Often referred to as a “virtual teacher’s assistant,” Eneza is a for-profit, social enterprise with a team of 15 full-time staff and 40 contracted master teachers. All of their content and technology is original, created locally, and approved by the regulating curriculum authority.
Talking about the inspiration behind the startup, Eneza co-founder, Toni Maraviglia says, “I realised the burden of what teachers go through here when I was living in this rural village. If I was giving individual feedback on a daily basis as a teacher I would see my kids scores just skyrocket, but in some classrooms there might be 70, 80 students, and you can imagine how overwhelming that is for one teacher,” the BBC reported.
The company has Android and web-based versions of the app, and also works using text messages; this is to allow users across rural Kenya to continue learning using the platform even if they can’t afford to pay for data or smartphones, or if there is no network in the area.
Eneza targets school children from age 8 to 18, and it also offers services to drop-outs up to the age of 25. Using the platform, students receive questions and feedback from teachers. They are also able to request help via text or video, for any subject they might have difficulties with.
To date, the company has reached over a million users across 8000 schools in Kenya. Eneza has also recently secured funding from an East Africa-focused social venture fund established by Global Partnerships and the Eleos Foundation.
“Our investors believed in that mission before we had a business model and now that we have one ripe for rapid expansion, they are with us every step of the way. Our experienced management team share a desire to transform African education in the millions before anything else, and now we’ve stepped in the millions, so we can focus on the rest.”
The app also includes a built-in detective game called, a feature that the students enjoy.