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Barclays Black Founder Accelerator 2021:
Access Education Global

 

Access Education Global is an education consultancy that provides services including advisory services, student recruitment for institutions, and application support for students seeking to enter the best global higher education destinations.

AEG was born out of a passion for ensuring widened access to education for students from all over the world. AEG runs a hybrid organisational model, providing free support out of proceeds to selected students each year who need financial and resource support to go through the applications process. So far, > 95% of AEG clients have received at least two offers to global higher education institutions. Additionally, more than half of AEG clients who have applied for scholarships and financial aid have received partial or full scholarships amounting to > £350,000 cumulatively, and counting.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

AEG has the potential to provide expanded services to students, families and educational institutions.

To maximise the impact of our mission to widen access to education and further, career opportunities during and after school, AEG aims to build a comprehensive EdTech platform for providing university admissions support, high school and semester abroad admissions support, and additional services including online tutoring and online courses for personal and professional development. We will continue to provide these services, ensuring that we also provide continued support for underprivileged students.

Achieving this feat will demand the streamlining of our current and proposed service lines, curating a team that can support the purposeful tasks ahead, and building the networks and technical support needed for success and sustainability.

The Barclays Accelerator provides a platform and the vital educational and networking opportunities for refining and advancing AEG's goals.
 

Why did you want to start your business?

I started my business to provide the same opportunities I have had, and even better to everyone that wants them and will benefit from them. I also recognised the dire need to ensure that many more students from disadvantaged backgrounds are given an equitable chance to access educational and career opportunities, and so my business model aims to actualise this purposefully.
 

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

I hope by the end of this program, to have a clearer plan for progress, the technical knowledge and support to engineer it, and be on my way to establishing a strong team to implement AEG's goals.
 

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

I admire various people in the EdTech space that are doing the good work of streamlining education access, and I look forward to building on their contributions. I also do admire the various FinTech initiatives that have sprung out of Africa, especially their consistency and success in building solutions over the last decade for the African and global market. When I started education consulting about five years ago, I wondered immediately how we would have clients across the continent paying for our services online, but today African online payment solutions are vibrant and thriving, ensuring that Africans have wider access to global services. Lastly, to answer the question more precisely, I know Elon Musk has arguably become a more mainstream than exciting name for many, but his originality, steadfastness, and boldness are inspiring to me and still, exciting.
 

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Seeing students gain admissions into their dream schools. It feels genuinely like a win for me, as much as it is for them. I am excited to help people access the very best.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Getting a team together to execute your goals must be one of the hardest things in the world. I hope to find the hack during the accelerator, and attract the right people soon after. I hope I find people who will take this as personal as I do.
 

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

I enjoy watching youtube videos and reading entrepreneurship articles. I follow many business success stories and case studies on HBR, Foundr magazine, etc. I also took an Idea Exploration online course with the Oxford Foundry, delivered by Yo Percale, which I found super useful and engaging.
 

What drives you to make your business a success?

My greatest satisfaction is in realising that I am helping others realise their own successes and personal development. There is a lot of value to be unlocked for individuals and their societies by extension, when they have access to the best educational and career opportunities they can have. Seeing my clients succeed drives me. Knowing the impact this business can have in that regard drives me.
 

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

The founder of Ashesi University, Dr. Patrick Awuah, shared a quote one careers day during my high school years, and has shared this many times, in telling the Ashesi story. This is what he shared:

“Anything you can do, or dream you do, begin it: boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I still reflect on it, and that's the advice I will give other founders. Be bold and just do it. Boldness is one of those things we all struggle with, but it's also a very rewarding trait, and bizarrely, one that you only truly possess after you've practiced / effected it.

I would share another quote, the second part of a famous Marianne Williamson quote:

"Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world ... As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I think our boldness, our initiative, our resulting success is chiefly useful for others beyond ourselves. Many will depend on your boldness, initiative, and success and are waiting for you to move, to liberate them, make their lives better.

I will now take these two quotes and pieces of advice for myself as well.

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