Quality Early Learning Programmes
Year of Investment and Stage:
2022 | Developing and testing to validate problem solution fit
Early Proof of Concept
Hybrid (equity-linked and grant-based elements)
OURSpace is a connectivity device that enables access to educational resources both online and offline. It offers support to educational institutions and ECD practitioners by providing affordable and uninterrupted access to digital learning resources. This support is primarily available in rural and peri-urban areas as well as urban areas, where existing data infrastructure may not be sufficient and/or costly.
Early learning practitioners in low-resourced communities do not have access to quality resources, such as books for teaching children in their centres, and training materials to improve their skills. Quality digital content offers the opportunity for early learning practitioners in hard to reach or low-resourced communities to improve the quality of their programmes. However, data and infrastructure costs are too expensive.
In other cases practitioners do not have access due to inadequate data infrastructure in their communities. It is also evident that a significant barrier to the accessibility of digital learning resources in low-income communities, is access to stable network coverage in remote areas.
By solving digital infrastructure barriers and making online learning accessible and affordable to early learning practitioners and young children, more practitioners will be motivated to deliver quality learning programmes to young children. Access to motivated and capable practitioners, as well as access to quality resources can improve the educational outcomes for children.
OURSpace aims to make quality online resources and learning more accessible and affordable to ECD practitioners, educators, learners and young children. This innovative solution intends to improve learning outcomes by providing quality educational content and improving access to online learning resources. The device aims not only to improve educational outcomes in early learning centers but also at a school level. It offers the users access to teaching aids, educational resources, digitised interactive teacher training, supplementary education resources that teachers can use for lesson planning for different age groups.
The connectivity device provides access to the resource platform without the need for network signal, WI-FI connection or mobile data. It immediately solves the many problems faced by teachers, early learning practitioners, learners and young children in low-income communities. It focuses on providing multimedia content, which addresses different learning styles and makes it easier for educators and ECD practitioners to communicate complex topics in a concise and engaging way.
How it works
OURSpace provides a “Classroom In A Box” experience through its Remote Learning Device that enables the online and offline distribution of educational resources using a device that emits an independent and localised Wi-Fi signal. It allows users within a 50m radius to connect to the online platform and have access to educational content data for free. It provides affordable access to online learning without compromising different learning styles and quality education.
Why we Invested
As the call for the global digitisation of education grows and the development of digital learning solutions increases, schools may eventually need to permanently integrate online learning to their curriculum. OURSpace devices provide an avenue for true inclusion of practitioners and children from low-income and rural communities by removing barriers to affordable online learning.
We invested in OURSpace to support its aim to improve learning outcomes of children by removing connectivity barriers, and providing ECD practitioners with access to quality resources that will improve their skill set and the programming they deliver.
The Project Team
The OURSpace team is passionate about empowering young transformative leaders through digital learning solutions. They work with award winning content providers to provide quality educational content that is focused on preparing learners for the future. Founded in June 2018 and led by Mbongisani Dube (Co-Founder and CEO), Sanelisiwe Njobe (COO) and Albert Ojo-Aromokudu (CTO), it is led by a young, all black team of qualified and experienced graduates in Architecture and Engineering who are motivated by the desire to make systemic advancements with respect to increasing access to quality learning materials for children from impoverished communities.
Mbongisani Dube – Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) holds a Bachelors and Honours in Architecture from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and has worked previously as an Architect at Meyer & Associates Architects, Urban designers, before co-founding OURS. He also works as an architectural consultant part-time. Mbongisani drives the overall strategy, innovation and product design of the venture; and manages partnerships (funders and clients) and business development.
Sanelisiwe Njobe – Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) holds a Bachelors, Honours and Masters in Architecture from UCT. She previously worked as an architectural designer at studioMAS architecture and urban design, as well as worked on the tech focus of a private primary school, Rallim Modern Learning Environment in Sunningdale, Cape Town, from concept stage to completion. The project went on to receive a regional commendation from the CIFA Awards. Sanelisiwe manages the business administration, project management and compliance responsibilities of OURSpace. She is also an Allan Gray fellow which makes her eligible to obtain funding from E2 Investments (OURS is currently part of their in-house incubator called Pathways).
Albert Ojo-Aromokudu – Chief Technology Officer (CTO) holds a Bachelors in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering. He previously worked as a Mobile Application Developer at Albertron Industries on a part time basis for two years, and has worked full-time as a Software Engineer at Yoco for 11 months. Albert heads the product development, customer support and the automation of internal processes.