How This EdTech Founder Is Helping Africans And People of Colour Get Access To Premium Tech Skills Relevant For The Future Of Work
Osagie Jonathan, Founder/Strategy Lead of Quantum Analytics, a leading technology education startup in sub-saharan Africa and a technology education entrepreneur. In 2021, he was nominated for the Tech Trend Award 2021 under the C-Level Executive (Edtech) Category.
In an interview with Naija News he talked about his entrepreneurship journey, the Quantum Analytics brand and how they are helping people transition into roles in the technology industry in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world. Excerpts.
Tell us about Quantum Analytics and the role you play.
Jonathan: Quantum Analytics is a technology education startup. What we do is help Africans and people of colour acquire premium technology skills and then create paths to assist them to transition into roles in the technology industry. Simply put, our mission is to help Africans and people of colour participate in the global digital economy and benefit from the value that digitalization gives to us.
What we do at Quantum Analytics is simply to lower the barrier to transition and acquire tech skills for so many young Africans and people of colour across the world. We also help them access new jobs.
Within 2 years, we have developed learning programs in some very specific areas of digital skill training. From Product Design to Data Analytics to Software Development. Our focus is to make our students globally in demand.
Now talking about my own role, I am the Founder/Strategy Lead, so what I do is to lead the team, and champion the organisation’s policy.
What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?
Jonathan: Now that’s an interesting question. My partner and I started Quantum Analytics with our savings. As at today, we haven’t raised any external capital or funding.
Let’s talk about your growth for a minute. How did you go from zero to over 14,000 students in 30 countries in just under 2 years of operations?
This is a great question. First, there is the God factor. A very important factor. We didn’t know if we would be accepted in this space. We didn’t know how the market would react to our entry. But we knew we had to be ready to accept whatever the market threw at us. Next, we have some fantastic students that took us from nowhere to where we are today. Much of our growth came from referrals from current and previous students. They were proud to announce Quantum Analytics from wherever they are. I mean it has been massive. Many of our students get jobs or promotions at their current place of employment because of the skills they have learned in Quantum Analytics. They shared their stories on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And that created a foundation and the beginning of our growth. Finally, we will attribute our growth to our team. We have an excellent team doing magic. Working smart to ensure the vision is achieved.
We also intentionally train our students to be job ready. No fuss. We also try as much as possible to connect them to an internship or full-time entry-level job opportunities. Not just in Africa but across the globe.
What are the challenges, and competition, and how are you overcoming them?
Jonathan: Well in terms of competition, we do not see ourselves as competitors in the education space, we see ourselves as complementors. But there are other outstanding companies and organisations that are playing in this space. There are organisations that are niched and are focused on different areas of technology education training, so I may not be able to mention names here, but these are great organisations. Some organisations do not do training, they just connect people to the job market; there are organisations that are focused on digital skills training, some are focused on providing internships to people that have been trained, etc.
So what we do which is like the competitive advantage that we have is that we lower the entry barrier to acquiring technological skills and connect our students to global opportunities. We are intentional about their growth, and we continue to provide mentorship until they have fully transitioned. We are building a global technology education hub for everything technology skill training. From Data Analytics to Product to Design to Software Development and this is a value proposition that makes our students get very attracted to Quantum Analytics. Over 14,000 students from 30 Countries on 4 continents trust us.
In terms of the way we also overcome the competition, we built Quantum Analytics to be very affordable. We lower the barrier to entry for Africans and people of colour. We do not believe that you need to break the bank to learn a technology skill and that is one of the areas of the competitive advantages that we have. Another one for us is the post-training values that we offer our students.
We have built 2 different models around our post-training value. One is the virtual internship. This means that at the end of every training program, you have the opportunity to work on multiple projects in the form of a virtual internship. The second one is access to job opportunities. Our students gain access to different job opportunities because we have a large network of employers that are hiring through us.
These are the values that we offer that make Africans and people of colour want to be a part of our learning program.
How does your organisation measure its impact?
Jonathan: There are three major ways we measure impact, and we are quite intentional about the way we measure impact. First by measuring how we are helping you as a student close the knowledge gap. So from the beginning, we want to know what you know, then at the end of the learning program, we want to know what you know. So we see the knowledge gap and how we have closed it.
Secondly, we measure the impact on how you have been able to take the knowledge from the class to practise and we do that within the 2 months of the virtual internship, we look at how our students have been studying using multiple analytical strategy to evaluate how our students are working on multiple projects and how they are able to juggle these projects and most importantly how they are able to translate what they have learned from the class environment to the real work environment through that virtual internship.
The third is what employers are saying about our students, that’s like the ultimate value. We currently have a 85% transition rate into new jobs and beyond the transition rate, we also look at how employers are getting satisfied with the quality of talents that are passing through Quantum Analytics because it is not enough for you to transition, we also need to know how satisfied these employers are with our students.
So, these are some of the ways we are measuring impact. How you are transitioning to new jobs and the values that employers are getting from the quality of students that pass through our programs.
What is the future for Quantum Analytics and what steps are you taking in achieving them?
Jonathan: We are focused today on delivering premium tech skills to Africans and people of colour. For the future, we are building one step at a time to achieve our goal of democratising access to future global technology opportunities at scale.
How is the government policy supporting startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria?
Jonathan: The government needs to create more opportunities to engage entrepreneurs. Beyond just creating policies here and there. The more you talk to entrepreneurs, the more you can understand what works for the ecosystem and create structures that can really support them. For instance, the startup bill is a good step in the right direction. However, creating enabling environments to build and grow an enterprise should also be prioritised. Tax incentives should be seriously considered.
What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa?
Jonathan: The Advice I would give would be to start that business. Start fast and learn fast. We cannot over-prepare for entrepreneurship in Africa because it is a totally different ball game. But start and learn very fast. That is the advice I will give.
How does it feel to be an African entrepreneur?
Jonathan: I think it’s a mixed feeling. But overall I am super proud of being a Nigerian and an African entrepreneur.
How do you relax and what books do you read?
Jonathan: I spend quality time with my family. It helps me relax. Then I read a lot of books around leadership and growth.
For those who are looking to upskill with Quantum Analytics, how can they contact you?
For everyone looking to upskill with Quantum Analytics, you can simply send us an email at [email protected] or just send us a message on any of our social media channels and we will get back to you asap. Our training programs are open monthly.