Naspers Foundry backed entrepreneur selected for coveted Forbes Africa list

Forbes Africa list member Hertzy Kabeya

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Hertzy Kabeya, 29, the CEO and founder of ed-tech start-up, The Student Hub, has been selected as one of the featured professionals on the 2021 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.

The Student Hub is an online platform facilitating undergraduate tertiary education by partnering with government accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in South Africa.

The leading business magazine released the list on 1 June, emphasising the weight of the candidates’ achievements, particularly in the tumultuous year that was 2020. The prestigious list annually showcases Africa’s top achievers under 30 years of age, who have made great strides in their respective industries. The list includes innovative entrepreneurs, tech disrupters, sports stars and influential creatives.

In 2020, The Student Hub received a R45 million investment from Naspers’s R1.4 billion early-stage tech investment vehicle. Naspers Foundry backs early-stage technology companies with high growth potential and that aim to address big societal needs, such as education.

Kabeya is the mastermind behind the online platform, The Student Hub. The Student Hub digitises government-accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) course content to present curricula through a 100% online distance learning model and through a blended learning model to students attending classes at TVET campuses. It focuses on upskilling the South African workforce by providing the platform for TVET colleges to offer their courses online at affordable prices.

The platform provides tools for lecturers and tutors to track individual student performance and for heads of faculties to measure the productivity and performance of lecturers in real-time, resulting in a marked increase in pass rates. Its crowdfunding tools assist students in financing their studies and enable donors to follow the progress of their beneficiaries, while an integrated skills marketplace matches graduates to entry-level job placements. The Student Hub also helps to overcome the admissions limitations of physical infrastructure and related resource constraints.

The Student Hub’s Head of Marketing, Brandon Le Chat, shared the sentiments of his colleagues, who are proud of Kabeya’s achievement. “The achievement further validates the impact of what we are doing as a business. Hertzy is a very hands-on CEO, and his passion and drive are very contagious. We are all really proud that his passion is being celebrated,” said Le-Chat.

Kabeya said, “Just over 90% of unemployed individuals in South Africa only have a Matric certificate or a lower qualification. This results in SA having a largely under-skilled workforce. This is one of the many issues contributing to unemployment in SA, and it is very encouraging to see that the hard work we do is starting to be noticed by the rest of the world.”

He continued, “Although I feel privileged to have been selected as one of Forbes 30 under 30 Africans to watch, the most prestigious award will be when The Student Hub has solved the unemployment crisis on the continent.”

Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said of Kabeya’s success: “We congratulate Hertzy for his nomination and recognition of the amazing work they do at The Student Hub. We feel privileged to be a part of the journey and super excited about the outlook for the business. As Naspers Foundry, we remain committed to supporting Hertzy in realising the Student Hub’s vision. Edtech is a core focus for the Naspers group, so this was an opportunity to leverage that deep expertise to impact the trajectory of this business materially.”

The 2021 FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 edition is available at leading retailers. Digital copies are available on www.forbesafrica.com.

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On June 16 1976, approximately 10 000 students were mobilised by the South African Students Movement’s Action Committee, and marched peacefully to protest against the iniquity of Bantu Education and the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools.