Nigeria

How Nigeria’s W3tutor enables digital skills to be acquired online and offline.

Nigerian ed-tech startup W3tutor is dedicated to helping people learn digital skills, both through its online courses and through a concerted offline effort.

Founded in February 2016 by Prince Kwekowe, W3tutor offers a wide range of online courses on all kinds of digital skills, including programming, artificial intelligence and graphic design.

The goal of the company is to ensure that people across Africa have everything they need to become tech-savvy at their fingertips.

“We have developed a platform that has its community at the heart of its activities. Every skill set has a clan led by professionals in that field. This offers users very valuable real-life access to seasoned professionals as well as networking opportunities with those in their industry, “Kwekowe told Disrupt Africa.

Currently, the platform has over 6,000 registered students taking online courses on the site, and this number is increasing rapidly. Yet W3tutor is aiming for true scale by developing a solid offline presence as well.

“There are not enough native digital skills training centers to serve the crowd, and very few platforms use both online and offline media to reach the market,” Kwekowe said.

In addition to its online classes, the self-funded W3tutor also facilitates offline lessons between tutors and students. Approximately 900 students have participated in offline training sessions over the last 10 months, with start-ups targeting all major Nigerian cities.

“We plan to build offline learning centers in key areas across the country to help increase the reach of users with limited internet access. We ‘re also looking to expand offline training to other countries over time, “Kwekowe said.

The startup makes money by selling premium online courses and offline training, which generates enough to comfortably cover its expenses which keep it through. But scaling in a meaningful way is costly.

“Running expenses are one of the main problems we’ve faced. Creating company-standard video courses requires expensive, sophisticated gadgets, “Kwekowe said.

This could require W3tutor to pursue funding at some point in the future, but for now solid, steady growth is the order of the day as the startup effectively combines online and offline learning.