AFRICAN HOPES: Joel Mwale (Kenya) FROM WATER SANITATION TO COOPERATIVE DIGITAL EDUCATION
June 06, 2017
Joel Mwale is a young creattive entrepreneur from Kenya at 16 he started his first company producing and bottling low-cost purified drinking water. After that he created an education platform based on social media.
Like many children in Africa from poor backgrounds, he dropped out of school because his parents could not afford tuition.
The idea for his first business was inspired by his childhood. At age 14 he had suffered dysentery (infection of the intestines) from drinking dirty water in his village outside the western Kenyan town of Kitale. So at 16 he started SkyDrop Enterprises, a producer and bottler of low-cost purified drinking water.
Following the success of SkyDrop, he was named finalist at the Anzisha Prize walking away with $30,000 and an admission to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.
In 2013, he sold his 60% shareholding in SkyDrop for over $500,000. By that time SkyDrop was generating annual revenues of $515,000, with 74 employees.
Gigavia for interactive education
Mwale’s new venture, Gigavia, is a platform that seeks to change the way students learn by combining education, mentorship and social media. The online platform allows them to interact with each other as well as their teachers.
Gigavia enables universities to offer online exams, while teachers can share learning materials with students and track their performance. Students are able to access video tutorials and books customised to their courses, as well as share notes and class calendars.
Gigavia has so far signed up 10 universities in the US, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Mauritius. The firm’s planned revenue model is to eventually charge universities $1 for every student that uses the platform.