I sat down with Ogechi Ogbaragu, the founder of KIDSREADART to talk about how her passion to help African kids create a better Africa by teaching them to read.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Ogechi Ogbaragu and I’m the founder of KIDSREADART. I am an Early Years Accelerated Reading Expert, a certified Early Childhood Practitioner, Montessori Directress and Jolly Phonics Specialist.
Tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?
As a teacher in the early years I found out that a lot of parents were worried about their kids’ reading struggles and would go all out to see their kids be able to read. Most of the time they would enlist me to teach their kids privately. Over time I saw it was a common problem as kids who could speak very well struggled to string two words in a book correctly. I thought of ways through which I could help more kids overcome this challenge in a fun and engaging manner, which gave birth to KIDSREADART.
What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?
The reason I keep doing what I do is that I want kids to enjoy the thrill of reading a storybook, I don’t want to see any child discouraged from furthering their education because they lack the basic literacy skill of reading. I want to see well-read kids that are inspired and motivated to aspire to greater heights by the stories of those who challenged the status quo, I want the African child to see themselves as the agent of change that Africa and the world need to make our continent better.
All of these keep me going knowing that I’m making a difference by contributing my own quota to help the African child succeed.
Describe a typical day for you.
A typical day for me starts with my personal time with God, after which I start working on the resources for the program. I check up with my team to ensure that they are on track with their deliverables, call clients and follow up with leads.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievement is the birth of KIDSREADART especially because it was born out of nothing, from having no idea on how to go about it to overcoming the problems with the developers, designing the lessons and finally seeing it come to life.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Sometimes I love snacking on a bottle of peanuts while reading supernatural fantasies on Radish or Dreame, other times I watch Netflix or play with my kids.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite aspects of being an entrepreneur are having time for myself and my family, getting to meet new people all the time, continually learning new stuff as well as getting paid for doing what I love doing doesn’t seem like work.
Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.
KIDSREADART is a reading program designed for African children between the ages of 3-8 years which teaches them how to read and spell difficult word formations through animations and games for a great and fun reading experience.
Have you always been entrepreneurial, what led you to taking that first step and setting up your own business?
I haven’t always been an entrepreneur , I used to work a 7-5 job before the Covid 19 pandemic changed the entire world. It was during the pandemic that I decided to walk down this path and I began by signing up for an accelerator program with The Founders Institute Lagos where I shared my ideas and was guided on how I could bring it to life. We got incorporated in November 2020 and started developing content by January and went live in July with the first 2 modules while we continued working on the last 2 modules in the background. The last 2 modules are still in development and will be released very soon.
How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?
I have carved a niche for KidsReadArt by making myself an expert in this field by taking feedback from the success stories of the parents I’ve worked with. I design and sell literacy resources for teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers that has generated funds and have recently started a Teachers Training Program for schools who wants to use our reading program. We ensure that we help not only the learners but the teachers and parents who use our program.
What challenges have you faced first as a founder and then as a female founder?
First getting the required funds needed to develop the idea was a huge challenge. I also had problems with the software developers and learning about the business side of managing a business.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, KIDSREADART will have become the foremost reading program in the country, used by schools as a learning resource and by parents as an after school program in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Expertise in the chosen business, commitment to see it thrive and passion for your business, without these you can easily get discouraged when you encounter challenges.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?
First talk to GOD about it because God always has a way of bringing things to life even when you don’t know the next step you should take.
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?
Know your business. If you don’t know research and learn, join an accelerator program like Founders Institute and a business development program like HGCP to get business guidance and great mentorship deals.
What’s your number 1 tip for anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going?
What I do is to log out of social media for a while, switch off my phone and just sleep to clear my head for some days.
What business-related book has inspired you the most?
No Excuse and Eat that FROG both by Brian Tracy.
Ogechi is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program working to grow and scale KidsReadArt to become the best reading program in the country, used by schools as a learning resource and by parents as an after school program in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.