Over the last decade the education system in Sudan has seen several improvements, but it continues to be a major issue that needs the right attention. It’s still around 3 million the number of children that don’t have access to school, thus leading to a lack of competencies in the labour market.
Moatuz Ibrahim, one of our Job Creators from Sudan, works with his business to give everyone the chance to receive a proper education and have great academic results. He is in fact the CEO of Discovery Stations, a leading company in the educational sector that focuses on developing customized learning plan according to the abilities of the students.
His business is currently having success beyond every expectation, and, according to him, this is also thanks to the skills he acquired participating in our Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship in Khartoum (Sudan).
“Thanks to the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship I managed to increase my revenues from $188,000 to $2,056,699, relying only on two business models. It’s been a game changer! Our business is aligning itself with the vision of the UN 2030, as we are working on meeting eight of the sustainable development goals such as gender equity, quality of education, health and well-being … etc. This will better the life of the people of our community and will allow us to be supported by different international organizations.” Moatuz stated.
But let’s learn more about him.
1. How was your Business Idea born?
From the beginning of my career as a teacher, I’d been receiving requests for private tuition in students’ houses. The 1st year was doable going to students’ places, but as the years passed by, it became more and more time-consuming. Accordingly, I decided to create a place that allowed me to teach students of the same level and following the same curriculum, with time flexibility for both me and them.
2. How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
The business provided our clients with a high-quality educational process to ensure their academic success. In addition, we worked on providing a variety of services allowing them to choose whatever was suitable for them, always supported by our guidance. This helped students score high marks and discover their potential and their ability to learn whatever they set themselves. For example, we had students who decided not to enroll in the school system, so we designed for them some structured home-schooling programs, which were made of studying hours in the center, classes of their desired subjects and activities. This helped our students to be more oriented and have more time to discover what they are truly interested in and what they want for their future.
3. What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
I started my business as a technician (Mathematics teacher), manager, and then an entrepreneur. Being a manager was not an easy job as it requires skills for management practice. In the year 2018, we decided to increase the number of teachers and courses we provide. We moved from 5 teachers to 11 teachers. Teachers were taking more credit than the center itself, although they were giving the administration a hard time regarding submitting work, coming late, or even assessing students. Therefore, I worked on strengthening my administration department and we developed a communication channel through which we could get in touch with parents on monthly basis to report their child’s performance, ensure that they were satisfied with the service provided and welcome all their suggestions to improve our services. This helped the parents understand the importance of administrative work. Accordingly, parents started signing their children in the center based on the reputation of the center without asking who our teachers were.
This was a sign of success: we made parents understand that we only provide high-quality service. Then, in the year 2019 -2020, we faced the problem COVID-19 pandemic. There was a curfew and schools stopped working, even centers: May/June exams of the IGCSE have been moved to October/November. Many institutes relied on using zoom as a conference meeting room to conduct their lessons. However, we worked on developing an E-learning platform with a built-in conference meeting room where students can have a whole learning experience but, instead of being in class, it was online. On this platform, the teacher’s profile includes all his schedules with students in a calendar and links for every appointment direct him to the conference meeting room. The students’ profile, instead, has all the details of the students and the schedules are supported with a link for every session. We managed to develop it in two months.
4. In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
I believe being an entrepreneur requires problem-solving skills, being always ready to learn, having a high sense of commitment and discipline, being always ready to take calculated risks according to the plan and to revisit the plan consistently. In addition, is necessary to consider failure as part of the process to success: it does not mean giving up.
5. Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e., an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
I could say that I’m inspired by many people such as Steve Jobs and Les Brown: I see myself going through similar challenges and having similar skills to overcome these problems. However, my main source of inspiration is myself years from now.
6. What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
Be resourceful, accept the failure but stay committed to your idea and do your job.
7. Could you tell us a particular satisfactory moment you had in your entrepreneurial activity?
In the year 2022, we did not apply any marketing or advertisement, we relied only on our system as a marketing tool. We’ve set a target of 250 registrations and we managed to achieve that number only in the 1st two months.
8. Could you tell us how the MBA has helped you and your business?
This MBA was exactly what I was looking for as it was practical more than theoretical: everything you learn is applied in your business to ensure the success of your project. Honestly, the idea of the business week in Italy was also motivating me for many reasons such as the opportunity of linking my business internationally. It has helped me and my business in many respects:
- I improved my ability to design my business model canvas, do the marketing and financial planning and develop revenue streams for strategic planning.
- I managed to design a business model canvas for my company which includes four businesses: alpha.s training centre, alpha international community school (AICS), revision hub and alpha print press. I merged them all together in one BMC to ensure customers will find everything regarding education and learning in one place.
- I further understand how marketing works, how to develop a marketing plan, how to apply it strategically and how to apply some changes to it to ensure the efficiency of the plan and the achievement of the target.