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April 13, 2016

ODESHI 030 - How To Build An Education Startup in Africa From Scratch with Gossy Ukanwoke.

            In this week’s episode, we sit down with Gossy Ukanwoke to discuss his life as the youngest founder and chancellor of an international University in Africa. Gossy founded the Beni American University in 2012 in Nigeria because he observed that many Nigerian students faced significant barriers in their attempt to access quality higher education at affordable prices.


            He also realized that the current university system did not have sufficient capacity to absorb the large numbers of students that sit for the annual college entry exams. His solution was that if he could provide a platform where students could access quality programs at affordable prices, and finish the programs on their own schedule, it would make an impact in lives of the students. Little did he know that his education platform would grow to become one of the most popular resources for online training programs in Nigeria, and would eventually extend its reach to students from other countries across Arica and the rest of the world.


            With the demand far exceeding supply, and in a bid to satisfy the requirements of the education policy makers in Nigeria, he quickly switched gears and decided to add a physical campus to support his growing online university. BAU now incorporates a residential campus that is home to state-of- the-art facilities and is on track to become one of the premiere degree granting universities in Nigeria.


            Though a remarkably humble individual who shies away from the public spotlight, Gossy has received several awards from numerous international organizations recognizing his significant contributions to the development of human capital, entrepreneurship and education in Africa. He’s been featured in many notable media publications including CNN, FORBES, The Guardian UK , Huffington Post and ITV News Africa to name a few.


As one of the youngest university chancellors in history, Gossy notes that education is the great equalizer, and that anyone with an education, determination, passion and focus can succeed at any goal regardless of how unrealistic their ambitions might seem to other people. Though his journey has been fraught with many challenges along the way, he maintains that the obstacles force you to think creatively about solving problems.


We’re glad to have him on the show and hope that you takeaway some actionable information from our discussion.

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