Today’s edition of Winning Wednesday is focused on our entrepreneur, Lerato Motshwarakgole who just got admitted to Harvard Graduate School Of Education for her Masters In Education (M.Ed). We caught up with her on why she has decided to go back to school. She left us inspired
TEF: Why did you decide to further your education?
Lerato Motshwarakgole: I opened an education management company named Ora Communications. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme helped me turn my honours dissertation from University of Cape Town into a tangible 10 year business and execution plan. With entrepreneurship, particularly in education where trust and credibility is required, it is important to always further your own studies. I have developed text books and teacher training manuals for primary schools to fulfill our companies mission of using applied arts to create educational models that can be implemented in schools. Going to Harvard is vital in validating years of my research and learning ways in which Ora Communications can scale. When I looked at all the entrepreneurs that have built successful companies the through line is that they studied further, Mr. Elumelu being the most obvious mentor for me.
TEF: What do you plan to do as soon as you’re done with school?
LM: Scale, scale, scale. It’s one of our biggest challenges as a company. I have pages of research and material I would like to take with me to Harvard to seek further guidance.
TEF: What will happen to your business while you’re in school?
LM: Operations will continue. We are preparing to pitch three of our educational programmes: Lora, Lorato and Oramela. Lora uses animation to create 2 min illustrations that can be sent to pupils and parents via Whatsapp. It will cover STEM topics like gravity, photosynthesis and algebra. Using creativity, we plan to make learning fun and the curriculum interactive. I have a great team that will continue executing an already set plan for these three projects. By going to Harvard I am opening up the possibilities for Ora Communications, and they are endless. We seek to be operating for a long time.
TEF: How did you spend your TEF seed capital?
LM: I entered my company at ‘idea’ stage so I had to literally start from the bottom. My main priority was to build credibility, which meant registering my company, coming up with a logo, website, business cards, flyers etc. We also set up an office with full equipment (printers, desks, telephone lines, internet). All that is required for us to be accessible and professional.
TEF: What milestones have you achieved with your business so far?
LM: One of our biggest milestones is to take advantage of Botswana’s Ministry of Education and Skills Development public- private partnership initiative that launched late last year. We are looking forward to presenting to the Curriculum Authority our projects and the research we have been conducting and data on education in Botswana. It has not been easy but we are breaking ground and we have the stamina for it!