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Afroes Graduates out of the incubation at m:lab East Africa

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Afroes, short for ‘African heroes’,is an African Social enterprise that gamify learning. Afroes develops cutting-edge interactive digital media solutions rooted in Africa’s rich heritage and designed to mould Africa’s young citizens. By engaging with Afroes, users get a fresh and cool African experience as well as an awareness of new possibilities and opportunities on the continent. Afroes aims to change mindsets of young Africans by developing leadership and problem solving skills through innovative and engaging digital games.Their value proposition is uniquely designed for the African mobile market to create compelling and relevant interactive content but also to ensure deep reach into the hands and pockets of the target user Afroes began Its operations in South Africa in January 2010 with the goal to build compelling and relevant learning content for youth in Southern and East Africa. In 2012, they joined the Mlab Southern Africa. In the same year Afroes was given the opportunity to “Internationalize” beginning with Kenya – through the m:lab East Africa. To date, Afroes has developed and distributed a series of mobile learning solutions. In Kenya, this has included award-winning HAKI – a mobile game series on Justice and Rights that has reached over 30,000 users. MORABA is an award winning mobile-game, which addresses the difficult question of Gender-based Violence (GbV). It has reached over 50,000 youth in the South African pilot program in partnership with VODACOM with empowering information. As part of the Rockefeller Digital jobs initiative, Afroes developed JobHunt a game to educate highly skilled but disadvantaged youth on the availability of digital jobs. Through their partnership with Games 4 Change and the Half the Sky movement, they were able to expand their mobiv8 network. As Afroes builds relevant content for the youth market, it sought creative approaches to overcome content distribution challenges and ensure adoption. Building on previous projects, Afroes has further developed the concept of community-based youth representatives for distribution and data-gathering. The Afroes Mobiv8 Network is a growing team of community-based sales reps who are contracted to ensure distribution of the mobile learning content in the greater community where they are based as well as to gather data and insights Afroes also offers tailored content for a fee to companies and organizations eager to reach the youth market in an innovative and engaging way. This business-to-business model has been the main source of revenue to date. Another source of revenue has been in-game advertising. Apart from their revenue model above, Afroes is looking to raise external funds that will help the startup to scale. “One of the main benefits of being part of the m:lab incubation program is the variety of resources available to us. Our business coach was specific to help us develop the long-term strategy for Afroes as well as developing multiple business models. Being an international company the challenges of developing a holistic business model was a challenge and what would work in Kenya wasn’t necessarily what would work in South Africa.” says Gathoni, Research and partnership associate Afroes She continued to say that the m:lab community is a great resource and support system. We were able to develop the m:lab EdTech community – bringing together all the startups working in educational technology. This group was useful in helping us network and also test ideas. The tech startup scene in Kenya is very dynamic and as an organisation you have to be proactive and responsive to these changes.  Being part of the m:lab incubation program and community has helped us stay abreast of the issues at hand and also supported us in pivoting and re-adjusting our business model as necessary. For more information about Afroes, visit their website www.afroes.com you can also follow them on twitter @afroesgames

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