Our main goal is to help the growing youth population of Africa access quality higher education. We chose Nigeria as our pilot country because of its huge population growth. Nigeria has close to 200 million people and more than 50 percent are over 18 years old. The problem is the gap between available opportunities for them to go to university – at home or abroad – is very limited due to a lot of the decisions that have to do with government spending. We are trying to provide a solution to that by building a platform where these individuals can easily come onto the mobile app or the website and access this information.
While in the U.S., I was looking for ways to give back and help, and also ways to invest in some kind of enterprise with an African connection. I was approached by Co-founders Maxwell Ogunfuyi and Abayomi Johnson, and the initial idea was for groups studying in Nigerian universities to use the app for local scholarships.
But let’s say five million people a year a re trying to get into local universities in Nigeria – not even 10 percent of them will actually get in. So we thought, “Let’s create an app focused on both local and global scholarships.” We started operations in May 2016, and we launched the iOS app in July 2016. It’s only been a few months since we launched, but one thing we learned from the app market is that adoption of new technology is not that straightforward. Even if you have developed a strong product and you’ve identified a large target base, it still takes a lot of preparation to get people on board.
Currently, there is a program for African companies that have received investment from the U.S., where you can get immigrant status and travel back and forth between the two countries. This initiative is very good but could be further expanded. It’s something that makes more sense considering the large mass of talent coming out of the region. And with Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., creating an environment where people can easily come into the country to get immigrant status, it will continue to lead to great developments.
Our next step is to grow what we have right now. We have about 10,000 users but we want to grow into a multi-million platform. Hence, we launched our Web app earlier this month where users can use every single function from the mobile app. As ScholarX evolves, we want to build an innovative scholarship management platform/portal that external parties can use to track their scholarship programs. We’d like to expand our innovation to fields like agriculture, healthcare and transportation.
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