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Palesa Mahlatji: The edtech entrepreneur

Updated: May 13, 2019



Palesa Mahlatji @palesamahlatji is the founder of Priyo Tech, an EdTech company that has developed a portable, solar-powered computer lab in a bag to empower teachers to improve the quality of education by equipping them with ICT skills and digital equipment such as an e-learning digital library with laptops and tablet and a solar charging station. The idea was born from her own personal experience after school when she was like many other young South Africans, unemployed, desperately looking for a job. She was often told to go and apply online but sadly she had never used a computer before in her life. She also tells us that a car accident in matric that nearly ended her dreams, helped her to realise the difficulty teachers experience in educating learners. This saw her starting community development in matric before entering the banking industry. After a while she questioned whether working in a bank was the best use of her time, and decided to start a NGO. Unfortunately she initially teamed up with the wrong partners and lost a great deal of money. She sunk into a depression but thanks to her mother, managed to pull through and began tutoring mathematics to kids. She raised some funding which allowed her to create an online tutoring business as she could not scale her business by being in one place. This evolved into the solar lab in a bag which has been rolled out to many public schools in the Eastern Cape and has trained almost 5000 students.

We are inspired by Palesa’s commitment to building a business that helps improve the standard of education for children in public schools, helping them reach new heights.

Featured artist: Janine du Plessis @janine_duplessis

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