Stephanie Obi is a tech entrepreneur and founder TrainQuarters, a multipurpose online course creation platform. The techie with a First Class degree in Computer Science from Covenant University, has helped hundreds of female entrepreneurs across the world to build their online courses, enabling them earn extra stream of income by turning their skills, knowledge and expertise into profitable online courses while generating up to tens of millions in revenue. In this interview with MARY NNAH, the Amazon bestselling author of the book, “Knowledge is the New Gold”, and frequent speaker across corporates platforms, TV and radio stations; shared her successes, challenges and love for the tech world
You recently launched Africa’s first all-in-one online course creation tech platform called TrainQuarters. Tell us how you came up with the idea?
I was tired of seeing Africans struggle with monetising their knowledge online, so I created a solution that is appropriate for Africans across the continent. We decided to launch TrainQuarters because we saw that a lot of women were struggling with the techie part of launching their courses online. TrainQuarters helps people create and market online courses, build websites, online communities and more, so that they can easily monetise their knowledge. I have helped over 200 women to turn their knowledge, skills and expertise into online courses.
These women have got millions of naira from monetising their knowledge online. It started a few years ago when I used to be an accessories designer. I was very good at it. I even stated a business selling Ankara accessories. I did it for a while and it became a source of extra stream of income for me. And then I got to a point where I decided to teach. I felt like sharing my knowledge with other people. It was not enough to just make accessories for people to use because people were asking for advice and I wanted to be able to share my ideas.
So I launched my very first workshop at my father’s garage. I was so excited about it and I told everybody I knew that I was going to hold a workshop. And when the day of the workshop came, nobody turned up. It was just me and my empty chairs. So, as you can imagine, I cried and cried. I felt so embarrassed. I thought that people always wanted me to share my ideas so how come they were not here. I decided to start marketing my training online and at that time, we just had Facebook and Twitter. Then I thought social media was a façade and will soon fade off, yet I started marketing training online and to my amazement people from other cities started asking for the classes.
The thing is, I am a Techie; I got a First Class in Computer Science from Covenant University, so to do certain things isn’t difficult for me. So, when I launched my first online course, I didn’t think it was a big deal to me. I just did it and it became a success. But for other women, I saw that they were struggling with how they would first of all build their websites, how they would build their online school, and many other things. And learning each of these things was like a headache for them. Let’s not forget that they also have to deal with their children and family needs and so it will take them a longer time to launch their online schools. Or sometimes they were even so discouraged to carry on. And that is why we launched the TrainQuarters.
How exactly does TrainQuarters work?
TrainQuarters is a first of its kind, one-stop digital platform built to help Africans from different sectors of the economy to monetise their knowledge. From creating, marketing and selling online courses to building a website, email list, blogpost hosting and more, the platform contains everything you need to launch an online course. TrainQuarters has designed an all-in-one platform and make it easy for Africans to monetise their knowledge online. It helps them to create online schools, it helps them to post their videos and online courses; it helps them to nurture their email community, it helps them to build websites and to receive payment for their online courses.
What does it takes to subscribe?
If you visit www.trainquarters.com
What advantage does Train Quarters have over other similar platforms?
After working with over 200 women to create their online courses, we noticed a trend – The Tech! The Tech is very scary. It is overwhelming and many times people feel stuck and disappointed. Many of them wanted to impact lives but they gave up because of The Tech. We saw them struggling which was hard to watch so we decided to help them make it easier; from creating, marketing and selling courses to building a website, email list, blogpost hosting, while taking away the stress and extra costs of going through a time consuming process, the platform contains everything needed to launch an online course. The all-in-one platform grants you access to online courses at a discounted rate – rather than paying for different platforms – along with the assistance of the support team to enlighten and guide you through the process.
The beauty of this is, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use the platform. The platform we have built is poised to tackle a lot of challenges that subscribers face with other platforms. For example, it is difficult for people to receive their payment when they use other platforms but with our platform, we have collaborated African payment platforms. So if you are a Nigerian you can easily receive your payment because you are now working with African stakeholders. Also, in other platforms, people can easily copy your videos but on our platform, nobody copies your videos without an authorised password.
So whilst the platform was created with different plans for those who wish to teach their knowledge and expertise online, it also allows users to create and own their own websites, grow their online community as well as offer a simplified payment method.
More so, the all-in-one platform grants you access to online courses at a discounted rate – rather than paying for different platforms – along with the assistance of the support team to enlighten and guide you through the process.
As a tech expert, how far is the country faring in terms of technology?
We are definitely on a journey, we are not yet there but I guess that when there, we have access to the internet. There is demand for tech things that you see in other countries. I think that there is also upraise of tech experts and platforms that are trying to solve national problems. So, although we are not yet there, we are coming.