Abraham ‘Abe’ Motsoane has a dream to educate South Africa with the most accessible means possible, namely the Internet. Don’t have access? Learning E-Varsity Online gives all its students laptops and portable Internet access. Don’t have any qualifications? Abraham has a policy to accept students regardless of experience, whether they have matric or not. The only catch is that you only get to keep the laptop if you finish your degree. Watch out, Learning E-Varsity will force education with the greatest incentives possible.
Abraham came from humble beginnings in Soweto being raised by his grandmother after the passing of his mother at only two years of age. “My grandmother did everything in her power to give me the best, she sacrificed everything for me and I think that might be why I pushed myself to where I am today,” Abraham recalls. From an early age, Abe was identified as a gifted child and was offered a range of bursaries and scholarships to prestigious private schools in Johannesburg. After high school, Abe was again awarded a bursary for his tertiary education and went on to study PC Engineering at Damelin College. “I have been very lucky and very privileged in life, I have a knack to be at the right place at the right time.” Jumping into an IT career straight after graduation, Abe started climbing the corporate ladder and in ten years found himself working at 12 different companies, “that’s when I realised that there was something, a restlessness in me that I needed to let out.” Abe was always interested in training and development rather than pure, cold IT, he even spent a year in his youth volunteering at a development programme, and so he decided to fuse his talents, skills and interests into one.
Abe’s path to Learning E-Varsity Online wasn’t exactly a moment of epiphany, however, after leaving the corporate world Abe proceeded to a career in what he refers to as “a beautiful mumbo jumbo” where he ran a car radio alarm shop from his garage and selling women’s beauty products. Eventually after working as a manager of a computer school for a distance-based university, Abe got his ‘aha’ moment, “I realised that the majority of queries that landed on my desk, were largely that of black learners who struggled because they had no computer at home. Being a distance-learning institution you can imagine this being problematic.” Abe quickly secured rights for content from a UK provider and also made a deal with a computer manufacturer and Learning E-Varsity was able to fly.“The deal I have with students is regardless of what they study, is that they kan keep their laptop, as long as they finish their course. If they drop out, we take it back,” Abraham explains. Learning e-Varsity Online offers a range of courses varying from IT, accounting, finance to a range of soft skill courses. Abraham’s policy regarding applications is that he accepts everyone, no matter their educational history, “whether you have matric, grade 3 or nothing, I believe if you have the willingness and desire to learn, you must be granted the opportunity.” Earlier this year Abe was part of the MEDO International Trade Programme as well as the Business Foundation Skills Programme. When he heard about the BT/ISUZU/Rennies Supplier Development Programme, Abe leapt for the opportunity again. “MEDO benefits you as a person, as well as your business. We as entrepreneurs are all struggling with the same problems, MEDO offers solutions through access to knowledge.” With the guidance from MEDO Abe is looking to turn Learning E-Varsity into a great employment opportunity by building a management team. He sees E-Varsity growing into Africa’s number one online business school. “I’ve set myself a goal to use as much as I can to use what MEDO provides,” Abe adds, “they thoroughly add to my business and has opened my eyes in terms of its scalability.” “I see an entrepreneur as someone who has the ability to see problems and provide innovative solutions to those problems. I realised Learning E-Varsity required some tools to upscale, and after this programme I can finally put myself in my customers’ shoes in order to provide those solutions.” Abe has big dreams for E-Varsity and upscaling won’t only be a benefit to his pocket, but one to the whole of South Africa.
Previous MEDO Programmes:
- 2014 International Trade Programme
- 2014 Business Skills Foundation Programme
- 2014 Supplier Development Programme