Doctors Van Gray and Blaine McCormick of Baylor University travelled to Kenya in May 2012 with the goal of using Oxygen8’s services to push business education to under-educated entrepreneurs in the Nairobi area.
Inspired by SMS-based English classes pushed out by the World Bank in Pakistan, McCormick and Gray designed a five-week series of business lessons to help educate current and aspiring entrepreneurs. They modeled many of their lessons after proverbs – much like Benjamin Franklin did in his well-known Poor Richard’s Alamanacks.
The basic phone displays one of the earliest lessons Baylor University sent out; it’s an African proverb which says, “A good host is like a Kapok Tree, scattering its seeds by the dozen”. Good hospitality is good business and grows your customer base.
Using a test group of 100 Kenyans they sent out approximately 24 lessons as well as interactive questions. Delivery success stayed above 85% and response rates ranged from 50-70% on interactive messages.
Blaine McCormick, Associate Professor of Management at Baylor University commented: “We are very much looking forward to expanding the programme with Oxygen8 in terms of the scale of users we reach and scope of countries we target by the summer of 2013, if not before”.