Original Research

Business model framework for education technology entrepreneurs in South Africa

Adrian von Maltitz, Elma van der Lingen
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a472 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v14i1.472 | © 2022 Adrian von Maltitz, Elma van der Lingen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 September 2021 | Published: 28 February 2022

About the author(s)

Adrian von Maltitz, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Elma van der Lingen, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Education technology (EdTech) has been proven to make a positive impact on education outcomes in developed economies. There is an immense untapped opportunity to introduce more EdTech into the basic education ecosystem to help with the education crisis in South Africa.

Aim: This study aimed to develop a framework that can be used to identify key considerations for EdTech entrepreneurs to create sustainable ventures.

Setting: The South African Government issued a clear e-Education policy white paper in 2004, but not enough progress has been made to improve education. The EdTech entrepreneur is the entity in the education ecosystem with the highest level of agility to take on this opportunity, if properly positioned and supported.

Methods: A multi-case study approach explored inputs from small business EdTech entrepreneurs. Qualitative analysis compared empirically based results, as identified themes with three predicted propositions.

Results: Four themes emerged: mature product, complex support network, multiple infrastructure considerations and multiple sources of revenue. The findings confirmed teacher distrust as having the greatest impact on value creation, mobile networks as only one of the key impacts on value delivery and both private and public sectors providing value capture opportunities.

Conclusion: Education technology entrepreneurs should develop mature products that teachers can endorse; build a support network, which would include an advisory board and low-cost infrastructure providers; and source multiple revenue streams from the private and public sectors. Better government policy and procurement implementation would also enhance the provision of simpler and predictable revenue streams to EdTech providers.


Keywords

basic education; K-12; education technology; EdTech; e-learning; entrepreneurship; business model framework; sustainable ventures; South Africa

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