[Startup Interview] James Adebisi, Founder, Xpora Academy, Nigeria
Xpora Academy is a Nigeria-based e-learning platform that equips the youth with in-demand digital skills relevant to the present and future of work.
The startup’s framework not only solves the problem of unemployment, as individuals are now adequately equipped for the workplace, but also increases financial independence among citizens, as individuals can remotely exchange their services for income, thereby promoting entrepreneurial excellence. James Adebisi the founder explains.
Tell us a bit about your startup
Xpora Academy is a Nigeria-based institute of learning that aims to subdue the challenge of unemployment and underemployment.
Our model deploys an easy-to-use e-learning platform for in-demand digital skills relevant to the current workplace and the foreseeable future of work.
Who are the founders of Xpora Academy and what are their professional backgrounds?
Xpora Academy was founded by James Adebisi in 2019, initially as a social media-based platform for free information on in-demand digital skills and job vacancies.
James Adebisi is Nigerian. A BSc. degree holder in Human Physiology (Bowen University) and a certified electroencephalographer (UCH).
James never had much interest in the traditional 8-4 or 9-5 jobs, so, he pursued his entrepreneurial ambitions upon college graduation in 2018. He found a gap in the educational sector and this led him to found Xpora Academy in 2019.
How is Xpora Academy financed?
What are – in your opinion – the dynamics that are shaping education and e-learning?
Technology is the dynamic of the 21st century!
I believe if we can successfully improve our traditional educational curriculum, then we can incorporate it into online platforms for ease of access. This gives the opportunity for self-paced learning via prerecorded courses and also the option of classroom experience via live-streamed classes.
As technology improves, so will education.
Why did you start Xpora Academy? What opportunities did you see?
I will use current statistics and say that as at August 2020, nairametrics.com reported Nigeria's unemployment at 27.1% and underemployment rate stood at 28.7%.
This in itself is a glaring pointer that the traditional educational model no longer produces employable individuals.
For me, finding a solution was the next thing and boom, digital skills acquisition by Xpora Academy.
What problem or problems does Xpora Academy solve?
Xpora Academy solves the problem of unemployment and underemployment by empowering individuals with in-demand digital skills.
This way, we have more employable youths who can as well offer their services remotely.
What gives Xpora Academy the competitive edge?
Xpora Academy is definitely not the first or the most popular e-learning platform out there. But that fact did not change the state of employment in Nigeria.
Xpora Academy's advantage is our complete understanding of the Nigerian market due to familiarity. Our founder is Nigerian.
Our courses are tailor-made for the Nigerian people, with modules taught in a relatable manner that ensures our audience don't just leave with "head knowledge", but with reproducible practical skills that can be easily exchanged for gainful income.
Who are your customers?
Primarily a B2C enterprise, Xpora Academy targets high school students, college students, recent graduates, corpers and professionals seeking skills needed for better performance or promotion in the workplace.
What does Xpora Academy need in order to grow?
Xpora Academy is in urgent need of an experienced CTO and seed capital investment.
What is your growth strategy?
Education is one of the few industries that will always remain profitable as useful information must be passed from generation to generation.
We intend to sustain and continue to scale by focusing on perfecting our value proposition, securing investments and aggressively marketing our products to our target audience, tweaking & pivoting as required with the ever-changing trends.
In which markets are you looking to establish your presence?
We are looking to gain traction in states within western Nigeria, as they are more likely to respond faster to the ever-changing dynamics of education.
Following establishment, we will spread easily to other states of the federation. Our internet-based solution will also pay off more internationally, as we include more tailor-made solutions for other developing countries suffering similar challenges.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
Within the next 12 months, Xpora Academy intends to partner with secondary schools in western Nigeria, to hold digital skills acquisition trainings for their senior students.
We will continue to scale by adding more courses to our curriculum.
In addition, we intend to develop an offline base for operations, necessary in-person meetings and branding purposes.
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