Five years ago, Hertzy Kabeya was struggling to realise his dream of launching an online educational platform in South Africa. Fast forward to 2021, and this tech disrupter has made it onto the prestigious 2021 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 List featuring the continent’s top movers and shakers.
Kabeya is the CEO and founder of edtech start-up, The Student Hub. The Student Hub is an online platform facilitating undergraduate tertiary education by partnering with government accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in South Africa.
"We're a technology company with a vision of improving access to education for thousands of students across the country and in future, across the continent," said Kabeya.
It was Kabeya’s passion to grow a business that improves people’s lives that caught the attention of Naspers Foundry, the South Africa-focused early-stage investment vehicle that helps talented and ambitious technology entrepreneurs develop and grow their businesses. As a result, Naspers Foundry invested R45 million in The Student Hub in 2020.
Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said of Kabeya's success, "We congratulate Hertzy for his nomination and recognition of the amazing work they do at The Student Hub. We feel privileged to be a part of the journey and super excited about the outlook for the business. As Naspers Foundry, we remain committed to supporting Hertzy in realising the Student Hub’s vision. Edtech is a core focus for the Naspers group, so this was an opportunity to leverage that deep expertise to impact the trajectory of this business materially."
The Student Hub enables students to access curricula through a 100% online distance learning model and blended learning model to students attending classes at TVET campuses. It has made fully accredited National Diploma programmes accessible for thousands of learners in South Africa at a fraction of the cost of traditional programmes.
The entrepreneur is excited about how the technology can increase access to tertiary education for students by reducing costs and overcoming the limitations of physical infrastructure. The platform also offers an integrated skills marketplace that matches graduates to entry-level job placements, something desperately needed in a country with high youth unemployment.
The Student Hub also provides tools for lecturers and tutors to track the performance of individual students and for heads of faculties to measure the productivity and performance of lecturers in real-time, resulting in a marked increase in pass rates.
There are even crowdfunding tools to assist students in financing their studies and enable donors to follow the progress of their beneficiaries.
Forever keeping his vision in mind, Kabeya says, "It’s an amazing privilege to have been selected as one of Forbes 30 under 30 Africans to watch, but the most prestigious award for me will be when The Student Hub has helped solve the unemployment crisis on the continent."
The 2021 FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 edition is available at leading retailers. Digital copies are available on www.forbesafrica.com.
This post was sponsored and supplied by Naspers.