Thobo Khathola, CEO of Lion coaching International, began his entrepreneurial journey coaching children from the trunk of his parents’ car. The young entrepreneur is from Botswana, and his experience as a university student tutor prompted him to establish his business in 2015.
In an interview with Forbes Africa, Khathola said, “I have always been passionate about education and bothered by the declining pass rate of academics in my country and in Africa as a whole. I managed to gain experience and identified a niche.”
He also added that he further understood the necessity for tutors because he skipped a grade in senior high school and needed the assistance of a tutor to help him cover a year’s worth of study in three months before his big exam.
The young entrepreneur borrowed money from friends and family to start Lion Tutoring, which he describes as “Uber for tutors.” He has now paid off his loans and is reaping the advantages.
Thobo began his business as a tutoring company, and merged the tutorials with technology some time later. Today, the company matches tutors and students across Botswana, South Africa, and other parts of Africa.
Tutors are sent to students’ homes across Gauteng and Gaborone, and those who are unable to attend in person can do so online. Kathola has embraced the Fourth Industrial Revolution by engaging clients via his e-commerce site and smartphone app.
Subscribers to his Uber for Tutors app can book a tutor after signing up and creating an account on the platform. Students can search for certain disciplines in which they want to be tutored and will be linked or connected to available pre-vetted teachers in their area. Matching the perfect tutor to the right student usually takes a day.
Lion Tutoring had a 96% pass rate in its 2018-2019 results, according to Innovations of the World. The teachers who are hired have either a PGDE or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education.
Kathola’s organization has been in business for eight years and has over 300 young specialists and educators working as instructors. The corporation is headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana, with its headquarters in Bryanston, Sandton.
“Our mission is to empower students by identifying their areas of improvement, nurturing their talents, and equipping them with the necessary tools and strategies to succeed,” Kathola shared with the Business Report.
Aside from his commercial venture, the entrepreneur established the Lion Tutoring Community-Based Project, which aids communities such as SOS Children’s Home, Childline, and Mogonye Primary School. His ambition is to make his coaching platform available in all African countries.
Lion Tutoring earned the Best Youth Owned Business award at the Botswana Youth Awards in 2017 and 2018, as well as the Best Youth Business award at the Palapye Business Expo.
The University of Pretoria alumnus was also included to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and will appear on the cover of Forbes Africa magazine in April 2020.