Are you an educator who has figured out that you want to start your entrepreneurial journey? Well, then this is the post for you! Education entrepreneurs are called edupreneurs.
A few characteristics that make you a fit for the journey are passion, drive for change and growth, quality education, and adjusting. If you're an educator looking to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, then these are a few qualities that you must have developed over time. These are also the same qualities that will help you in the hustle.
Also, here are a few tips that might get you going as you start to transition from an educator to an education entrepreneur.
Find and Follow Your Passion
As you start your entrepreneurial journey, your passion must be a part of your business. Find your passion and integrate it into your journey. Ask yourself basic questions like what you are good at, what you are passionate about, and what problems you want to/can solve?
Connect these lines, and you'll figure out what you want to do. Suppose you love engaging kids or creating projects. In that case, content creation can work well for you or similarly if you like helping other educators for the betterment of students at large. Building a community or a platform to facilitate this for educators globally can work well. This practice can determine the kind of business you should look into, as it will include what you're passionate about.
Plan it out
Once you have the idea for the business model, you can start with the planning. The idea turns into something meaningful with a lot of work. Planning that work can help you take one step at a time and prioritize the important things first. You need to find out your target audience, strategize marketing segmentation, work on personal branding, and add personalization to the whole idea as you work towards your targeted audience. establishing routines and systems and buying a domain is where you might want to begin with.
Build a team
A dream takes a team. Your team is going to be your support and your cheerleaders. You may want to work on your plan solo, which is okay too. You can work solo and make it happen, but if you know you'd need a team, you may want to have it in place. This can be your friends, coach, and mentor, too. Before you start the action, you may want to brainstorm the idea with them.
All in all, when you start building something, you require people for that. It could be a set of employees, some family, some friends, some people who'll work for you, some from whom you need the support, and more in an individual capacity as it suits you. It would be best to have people you could turn to during the tough times or when it gets overwhelming. Trying to do it all alone is not the best idea. Hence, build your team.
Not starting it because it ain't perfect is the reason behind so many ideas that never took place. There'll be something off in many things until you try them again and again and make it work. Your plan will require you to rework many times, the marketing will not be a perfect fit in the first go, and your execution will be flawed. Ideas aren't perfect. It works on hit and trials, and you've got to do it again and again until it seems all perfect and pasted. Just get started and stop worrying about perfection.
One of the essential parts of running one's venture is reflecting on what works and doesn't and making adjustments as required. You do your business every day, and you know what the shortcomings are. You know the part where marketing isn't working, you know that website needs some changes, and similarly, you know what's going wrong and where the fixing is required. Things change and grow. Your plans will require improvisation and updates as well. To make it happen, you'll need to reflect on your business and actions timely and make adjustments as needed.
Here are a few stories of edupreneurs for the initial inspiration
Angela Maiers has been in the education industry for over 31 years. From teaching every level of school from grade school to graduate school and consulting with organizations and companies around the world, she has done it all. As a young teacher, she believed that people need to know they matter. They need to be noticed, valued, and honored. She states to Forbes, "Significance is even more important than success."
The edupreneur started Choose2Matter In 2012, a movement that challenges all to believe and know they matter and make "mattering" a way of life. Choose2Matter reaches over 1 million students in 65,000 classrooms in more than 50 countries. She also has several books and instructional guides to her name, including her latest set of lessons: "Genius Matters." Now, she spends her time helping teachers, students, parents, and leaders embrace and embody a sense of community in their own lives and in the lives of those they lead and serve.
Vicki A. Davis, known as Cool Cat Teacher, is a blogger and the host of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast. She also works as a teacher and IT Director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia. Her job as a teacher and blog helps her students explore work opportunities globally. She states, "Many years ago, the week Google Docs came out, we tried to break it by seeing how many of us could edit simultaneously. My blog post resulted in a phone call with Google." Davis has met and collaborated with educators and tech administrators around the globe. In 2006, she co-founded her first global collaborative with an educator in Bangladesh. This global partnership led to inclusion in version three of Thomas Friedman's book The World is flat. Since then, she's worked on more than 30 global projects.
Jasmine's Project Balika focuses on the education and empowerment of girls in at-risk communities in urban India. The non-profit organization closely works with school leaders, educators, and community members to minimize school dropout rates and build essential skills among girls. Since Its inception, the project has helped over 1200 young women and girls through various initiatives. Their Covid-relief program launched in 2020 has impacted over 25,000 women in the community.
Byju Raveendran, the founder of global unicorn edtech start-up Byju's is a former teacher who made the plunge and turned an edupreneur. Raveendran started Byju’s in 2015 for school students. As of March 2022, the company is valued at US$22 billion and has over 120 million registered students. The company caters to k-12 and competitive exams preparation across the nation and has made a mark globally. The Byju's app has become a business case at Harvard Business School.
Vamsi Krishna & Pulkit Jain, co-founders of Vedantu are also teachers. In the earlier stage of his career, Vamsi, along with his friends - now fellow co-founders - Pulkit Jain & Anand Prakash had found their first educational venture called Lakshya in 2006. Lakshya was subsequently acquired by MTEducare in 2012. Post the acquisition, they founded Vedantu, which has emerged as India’s leading interactive online EdTech player across K12 and competitive test prep.
There are many other success stories of edupreneurs - some who taught first and then turned to business and others who initiated right from their venture. But what's common among all edupreneurs is the passion, drive, dedication to the community, and willingness not to give up. Before you embark on your journey to be the next edupreneur, make sure you have the right ingredients, and the recipe will turn out to be a good one!