Technology driven Educational products specialist, Mellisa Tafila
 
 
 
 
 

Technology driven Educational products specialist, Mellisa Tafila

Aug 17, 2021

Tell us about how you got started.

We had an idea, and a half-baked prototype, which lay dormant for some time. It was only after the simple act of volunteering to help a child with math homework, that we were filled with much enthusiasm to complete work on our prototype and produce a product that could assist students to grasp concepts easily and give them personalized feedback immediately. This is how we started!

What makes your company unique?

I think that there are 3 things that make our company unique: technology, innovation, and creativity that is, Our use of technology in a student-centered manner. Our innovative solutions that ensure the needs of various learners are met. Our creativity in producing products/services that keep learners engaged.

 

No business is without setbacks, can you tell us about a time when you faced a significant setback and how you recovered from it?

In 2016/17 we launched our desktop educational software, but soon came to realize that most of our target customers - the students - did not have a basic and/or dedicated student computer at home. Henceforth, we came up with a solution that enabled all students to access both academic and extracurricular material at the touch of a button via their (or their parents / guardians) mobile phones. Our priority was to enrich and supplement the learning experience, as well as to increase flexibility to the learning process beyond the classroom.



How do you define success and to what do you attribute your success?

Accomplishing my daily goals is success to me. Making a check mark beside every daily goal I've written down, lets me know that I have succeeded for the day. Personally, I attribute my success to God Almighty. I draw my strength from Him to do my daily work; He energizes me to be an effective worker and His wisdom guides me on the next steps - the ideas. So it is because of Him, that I have come this far, and I am grateful. In terms of work ethic, I believe that being diligent and persistent has helped me to make progress.

What's next for your business, what will it look like in 5 years?

By the end of the next 5 years, I anticipate that our business would have grown 10X more. We have the aspiration to extend our services and solutions that have proven to work in our local context to other African countries who may be in need of the same solutions. We also hope to have partnered with both local and international institutions to offer graduate level revision and/or learning materials as part of our services.

 

What do you think the future holds for Africa-focused entrepreneurs and advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

I believe that a bright future waits for us, Africa-focused entrepreneurs. African economies are growing and at the same time there are challenges that need innovative solutions, and opportunities all around us, that can catalyze more business growth. It is therefore up to us to launch into the deep and take advantage of every opportunity. My advice to entrepreneurs who are just starting out is that they should focus and never lose sight of the reasons why they got started. The journey ahead may get tough, but little by little, the progress you make should give you the courage to keep going.

For startups, I just want to tell you that, the business industry already has almost anything you want to start now. Whatever you think of might be happening somewhere else, so choose to be unique, innovate to always stand out from the competition.

Owning a business while balancing a personal life can be challenging; how do you take care of yourself?

I think that having a day planner has really helped me to balance things out. It helps me to get things done, but also, to intentionally create and spend time with my family and carve out some “me time” where I get to invest in myself and do other things I enjoy, like dancing.

What is your favorite quote or mantra?  What keeps you going?

My most recent favorite saying by my cheerleader of dreams, Terri Savelle Foy, is “When the vision is clear the results will appear”. This reminds me that whenever I write down my goals, I should always be clear in the details. The clearer the details, the more likely I am to step forward in the right direction.

What is your favorite app or a business tool that you can't live without

My YouVersion Bible app and Google One Drive!