Meet Stephanie Obi: Bringing new innovation to online training
In the sphere of online courses and training in Africa, there stands an astute and widely venerated expert who has dedicated ample amount of time to accentuate learning online – she is none other than Stephanie Obi who recently launched an online platform named ‘Trayny’; where everyone seeking to learn how to grow their businesses can sign up and be taught several business courses by some of Africa’s most successful leaders. The platform (www.trayny.com) has managed to garner considerable buzz since its inception; with Stephanie describing it as a paradigm shift in the world of online courses and training. In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, she gives an insight into the platform, challenges of young entrepreneur,
Could you kindly introduce yourself?
My name is Stephanie Obi. I run an online education company focused on creating and selling online courses. Over the past four years, I have launched over twenty online courses and worked with 600 students from over nine countries.
Tell us about your educational background
I have a first class degree in Computer Science from Covenant University. I also have an MBA from The Lagos Business School
Could you tell us a bit about Trayny?
Trayny is an online platform that hosts online courses from Africa’s most trusted leaders. So far, we have launched an online course by Tara Fela Durotoye, the Founder and Current CEO of House of Tara International.
What really inspired the innovation?
In 2013, I launched an online course to teach ladies how to start an Ankara Accessories Business. The feedback I got from that online course was humbling. So many of the people who took the course told me about how the course impacted their lives. This experience showed me how powerful education was, and it also opened my eyes to see the gap we had in the business education industry. A lot of entrepreneurs were starting businesses but did not have access to affordable and practical trainings that could help them grow. This is what inspired me to create a platform what would curate business trainings from people who had actually succeeded in Africa, so that anyone anywhere can have access to it.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for young entrepreneurs?
One of the biggest challenges would be lack of know how. They keep making mistakes because they don’t know what to do or the right way to achieve a goal. A lot of people claim that lack of capital is a big challenge, but the truth is, looking for money to start or grow a business is also a skill that can be learnt.
How many courses are currently available on Trayny?
We have one course for now, but plan to launch many more online courses before the end of the year.
What are your thoughts on the prevalent use of new media in regards to Entrepreneurship?
New Media is a gift to entrepreneurs, because the barriers have been brought down and entrepreneurs can now market directly to their customers at a very affordable rate and most times, for free. It has also brought about a new wave of online entrepreneurs. Businesses that could not have existed a few years ago are now thriving businesses.
Is Trayny strictly for SME owners or established entrepreneurs as well?
Trayny is going to have an array of courses that will cater to entrepreneurs in different stages of their businesses. Some of the courses will cater to SME owners while some will cater to established businesses. We are very excited about the courses we have lined up.
How can the average Nigerian benefit from the platform?
They can sign up for the online courses, and also take advantage of the free guides we give out on the platform at www.trayny.com
Is Trayny restricted to Nigerians only?
No, it is not restricted to Nigerians only. We already have Africans from people in Canada, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, United Kingdom, Ghana, United States of America, South Africa, Namibia, and India taking online courses on the platform.
How can users sign up?
They can visit www.trayny.com, browse through the courses and pay for the courses. After they pay, we will give them access to the lessons and the community of entrepreneurs who will be taking the course with them. They will not only be learning new skills, they will also have access to networking opportunities.
What message do you have for Nigerian entrepreneurs seeking to augment their business and its opportunities?
Knowledge is key, expose yourself to new information.