Nicola Steyn

Adult Education Institute

What does your company do?

At Adult Education Institute, we're dedicated to breaking barriers to education by offering affordable, accessible learning opportunities to students across South Africa. Our mission goes beyond just imparting knowledge; it's about empowering individuals and communities. We're committed to social entrepreneurship, and one of the ways we manifest this commitment is through our continuous flow of free bursary programs. One of our flagship initiatives focuses on uplifting women in rural areas through courses tailored to their needs, such as basic agriculture. By providing these educational opportunities, we're not only equipping individuals with valuable skills but also fostering economic growth and sustainability within their communities. Our college serves as a catalyst for positive change, bridging the gap between education and empowerment. Through innovative distance learning methods, we ensure that geographic location is no longer a barrier to personal and professional development. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality education, and we're proud to play our part in making that a reality for students in every corner of South Africa

What is your biggest success?

Our biggest success lies in the transformative impact we've had on individuals and communities across South Africa. Through our commitment to affordable education and social entrepreneurship, we've been able to reach students in even the most remote corners of the country, empowering them with valuable skills and knowledge. One significant achievement has been our free bursary programs aimed at upskilling women in rural areas, particularly in basic agriculture. By providing these educational opportunities, we've not only helped individuals enhance their livelihoods but also contributed to the economic development and empowerment of entire communities. Seeing our students succeed, grow, and make positive contributions to society is a testament to the effectiveness of our approach and the meaningful impact we're making in the lives of so many.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

As a small distance learning college focused on social entrepreneurship and serving underserved communities, our biggest hurdle has been navigating the challenges of being a startup, particularly in an industry that often requires significant initial investment and infrastructure. Additionally, being a woman-led initiative has presented its own set of challenges, including biases and limited access to funding opportunities compared to more established institutions. Securing adequate funding to support our mission has been a constant struggle. Limited financial resources have sometimes hindered our ability to scale our operations and reach more students effectively. Despite these obstacles, we remain committed to our vision and continue to persevere, leveraging creativity, determination, and strategic partnerships to overcome these challenges and make a meaningful impact in the lives of our students and communities.