Photo by Smartcore
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 65 million secondary school-age children are out of school. In Tanzania, 70% of children aged 14–17 years are not enrolled in secondary education. Dropout rate is extremely high, and education does not prepare youth for the job market. Moreover, Africa faces a severe learning crisis, undermining its economic growth and people's well-being. In Tanzania, this learning crisis translates into low accessibility and quality education. In addition, limited access to education finance results in inequality in the education system.
Smartcore has developed digital solutions consisting of: (i) A digital learning service through their eLearning platform, Kisomo, offering more than 2,000 interactive videos, animations, and quizzes, adapted to Tanzanian school curriculum, which are accessible online and offline across multiple range of devices. The platform is accessible through individual subscription starting from USD 1 per week. Smartcore also provides institutional licences, with a subscription fee from USD 250 to USD 1,000 per year, to local schools for offline access allowing them to streamline and monitor individual students’ learning journey. The company also offers a software as a service model through white labelling of their eLearning platform to non-competing users like universities, vocational education centres and non-governmental organizations. (ii) A digital financing service (in development) with partners from the financial sector, including payment wallet and learn-now-pay-later options.
To date, Smartcore’s achievement include: 201,509 learners and 50+ secondary school enrolled; learner's academic performance and grades increased by 80%; and 90% of schoolteachers, using Kisomo in their teaching and student monitoring, reported a positive change in their methodology.
By 2025, Smartcore envisions to build a customer base of 1 million active learners in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, with a plan to target 10% of the 127 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24 within East Africa. Smartcore also ambitions to expand across Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Smartcore is looking to raise USD 300,000 to finance research and development, content library acquisition, and marketing and advertising.
Smartcore is the finalist of UNDP’s 2022 Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) in Tanzania, in the Education sector. The GSIV takes the Tanzania SDG Investor Map one step further by identifying through a highly competitive process enterprises in Tanzania that have developed at-scale products and services that contribute to the SDGs while achieving commercial success and are committed to embed impact considerations into decision-making. By showcasing and supporting these ventures, UNDP aims to bring forward evidence of the existence of pipelines of investable ventures that can advance the transition to SDG-aligned investment in Tanzania.