A Sage small business story, October 2016 - Blog

A Sage small business story, October 2016

A Sage small business story, October 2016

https://www.42courses.com/ is a South African online educational start-up, founded in 2015. Since its inception, they have grown rapidly, thanks to a unique approach to skills development. Sage spoke to 42courses co-founder and creative director Devon Bolland about his experiences in starting a successful small business.


How did 42courses come about?


42courses is the brainchild of Chris Rawlinson. I met Chris while working as an art director at Ogilvy Cape Town. He convinced me to follow him into the world of educational technology. It was the easiest and best decision I ever made.


What does 42courses offer?


We are an online learning platform that makes learning as fun as playing your favourite game. But here's the deal-breaker. Instead of partnering with tertiary institutions, we've partnered with some of the biggest brands and thought-leaders from around the world. This provides brands with a talent pool from which they can draw, as well as what we like to call branded utility.


How does 42courses’ model benefit brands?


Normally, brands pay millions for a 30 second television commercial. With 42courses, they are getting up to 20 hours with a direct audience who already love them. And it costs them nothing.


What does 42courses offer its students?


Our learners get unrivalled industry insights from the best in the business – courses that link to real-world skills and industry knowledge. Our learners are also working with the brands, meaning that they may one day have an opportunity to be talent scouted by our partner brands.


What was the gap in the market that 42courses exploits?


The gap we saw was that online learning is normally a digital dump of a book or papers. We want to tailor-make a user experience that reads and plays like a game. Learners can use ‘lives’ and gain badges as they journey across the web in search of knowledge.


What courses do you offer?


Our first course is perhaps the most useful one we will ever make, and it is led by Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy and Mather. The course is on human behaviour and explains why and how we are influenced in our daily lives by certain cues and nudges. It's absolutely fascinating!


What has been a highlight of your small business journey so far?


A highlight of our journey was getting our first course up, and receiving a resoundingly positive response from learners. We have surpassed the global average for online global course completion by 1200%. So we like to think that's because learners have loved the course and format.


Where would you like to take 42courses?


Our dream is to see this become as popular as Candycrush, but instead of people aimlessly stacking candy, they’re learning in a way they find just as riveting.